Manolo Marquez – We are in our best shape performance wise


Hyderabad FC are currently the table toppers with 26 points (7 wins, 5 draws) from 15 games. Meanwhile, their opponents in the next game are Bengaluru FC. The current table toppers are going from strength to strength as they look to solidify their pole position against Marco Pezzaiuoli’s side.

Hyderabad coach Manolo Marquez is confident and optimistic in their abilities as they prepare to face Bengaluru FC. Hyderabad FC lost 1-2 to ATK Mohun Bagan in the previous game and a win against the Blues will consolidate their position at the peak.

Bengaluru FC are 3rd in the standings with 23 points (6 wins, 5 draws) from 15 games. Head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli is looking to target a top-four finish and keep the winning momentum going against Hyderabad FC. The Blues witnessed a major overhaul when they climbed and breached the top-four in the league standings with a nine-match unbeaten streak, taking everyone by storm.

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Hyderabad FC head coach Manolo Marquez addressed the media in the pre-match press conference ahead of tonight’s game against Bengaluru FC at the GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa.

Here are the excerpts of coach Manolo Marquez from the press conference.

Manolo Marquez spoke on he was satisfied with the team’s first half performance in the game against ATK Mohun Bagan.

“We didn’t play well in the first half (against ATK Mohun Bagan), I was very angry because we lost easy balls, even without pressure. We passed the ball to the opponents close to our box, and the team started to play after conceding the second goal. It’s true that we started well in the second half with a very clear chance from Rohit Danu that touched the crossbar, but after (conceding) two goals, I think that we played very well.

“During that 20-25 minutes, we had a lot of clear chances, four-five, very clear chances, but in the last five minutes, plus injury time, we were nervous. We did not attack well at the last moment and they had very clear chances to finish the game.”

Manolo spoke on if he felt that the loss against ATK Mohun Bagan was a setback.

“It’s the first game that we lost in the second leg. In football, it is impossible to win every game in a regular season. Sometimes you play good games, sometimes you play bad. Sometimes you play well and don’t win. Sometimes you play badly and win games. I think the other day, we didn’t play a good game in general, except for a phase in the second half, and we lost against a very strong side. Now, we have to be focused on Bengaluru because there are still five games to play and the fight for the top four and the championship is still open for a lot of teams.”

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Bengaluru FC are unbeaten in their last nine matches. Marquez gave his assessment of the Nizams’ opponent in tonight’s game.

“It is again the same thing. We cannot think about how many points we need. We have to play against a BFC and see what happens. If we win, we will see things in a different way, and if we lose, we have to continue because till the last round, nothing will be decided. I think that we have to fight and we have to be focused in every game because all of them are very difficult. But for the other teams, it’s exactly the same.”

Bengaluru FC are three points behind Hyderabad FC. The Gaffer spoke on if he expects it to be an end-to-end game tonight.

“I think that will be a difficult game for us, but it will be a difficult game for them too. Another thing that I want to say is that I am happy for Marco (Pezzaiuoli), for the coach, because as a coach, sometimes you receive a lot of criticism. Now I want to look where are these people who criticized him. It was very easy to criticize when things were bad, and now they are silent.

“I think Bengaluru FC have good players. They have a clear style that they play, they are very strong in some aspects and they have very good players in all the lines. I think that will be very difficult for us. But I think that if we are in our best performance, it will be a very difficult one for them too.”

Cleiton Silva and Sunil Chhetri have picked up their form in the recent games. Manolo spoke on how he plans to stop them.

“Cleiton Silva, Sunil Chhetri, Prince Ibara, Udanta Singh, Danish Farooq, All the players who can score in set pieces. And it’s not about Cleiton or Chhetri. You are speaking about two very good players, but I think that they have a lot of players that can score. For example, Roshan Naorem Singh is a very good young player. And with a great future in Indian football, not just only for Bengaluru FC. Of course, Chhetri and Cleiton are very dangerous, but we have to be focused on all the players, we have to be focused on our style of play.”

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