‘We have to continue improving’

Manolo Marquez speaks about the win over Odisha and preparations for Bengaluru FC

After a winning start to life in the Indian Super League, Hyderabad FC take on Bengaluru FC in the second game of the campaign for both sides. Here is what the Head Coach Manolo Marquez had to say ahead of the game

On the result and performance against Odisha FC…

Obviously, we are very happy with the first win. I think the guys put in a great performance. But as a coach you cannot be too happy because you can lose the next game. We are satisfied with our performance, but we have to continue improving, like all good teams must, after the first game.

On pre-season friendly against Bengaluru FC…

For me, the friendly games are like training sessions. The game tomorrow will be totally different. I remember in the pre-season we played the second half with our foreign players, and they played their foreigners in only the last few minutes, so it will be different. We want to win and for that we have to put in a strong performance.

On the upcoming clash at Fatorda…

I think this is one of the biggest challenges for us this season. They are very strong in defense, and their midfield is very mobile. They overload the opposition half and can score some good goals. So, we must be wary of not losing the ball in dangerous areas.

Bengaluru FC are good at counter attacks as well and are good at pressing when their opponents lose the ball. So, we will have to work really hard and put in a good performance in this game.

On Aridane’s importance to the team…

I think Aridane, like all top forwards, know scoring is important. But a good thing is that he has a very positive character. He also knows his role in the team. He is a leader in the group. But the most important thing is the team’s confidence and Aridane helps a lot with it.

On the value of discipline during games…

In every team I have coached, I insist they stay disciplined. We must avoid unnecessary yellow cards. We all saw Aridane’s yellow card in the end. The score was 1-0. He looked tired. But to the question, yes I insist the players avoid yellow cards as much as possible.

On importance of squad rotation…

We played on Monday, now on Saturday and then Wednesday. So, rotating the squad becomes important because we cannot have the same XI play all three games. We have to make changes and have to use more players. We must look at other games to come, so that we maintain our fitness and avoid injuries as much as possible.

On the introduction of a drinks break…
It’s like basketball now. In that break, you can speak with players. But it is not enough time to discuss details and improve the game but it is surely a welcome addition in the ISL. With the pandemic, the weather, I think drinks-breaks are needed.

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