‘Our aim is to prepare for the next game’

Manolo Marquez speaks about HFC youngsters stepping up, unbeaten ISL run and more…

On the results and the upcoming challenge

We are very happy with our performances. But when you start the season well, sometimes the main aim of the team is forgotten. For us, at this moment, our aim is to prepare for the game against SC East Bengal and nothing more.

After two losses against tough teams, East Bengal have improved by the game. They have had chances in every match so I am sure this will be a tough test for our side.

On the pressure of maintaining an unbeaten run

We are happy that we are unbeaten so far but for me it is all just numbers. I don’t think we have too much pressure. For me, you are under pressure when you are last from bottom in the points table. With respect to East Bengal, our opponent, I think teams like SCEB, Odisha and Kerala have more pressure.

On missing key players

Maybe Hyderabad have the highest number of foreigners out with injuries but every team has had this issue. For us, we have a lot of confidence in the Indian players and when the overseas players recover, I am sure we can put in an even stronger performance.

On missing chances

In the first two rounds, we were the team with the most number of shots. Not scoring enough is a problem we have to solve, but it is not easy. We work hard on retaining possession and staying compact but we know we have to create more clear chances.

However, without overseas players in key positions, we are putting in fantastic performances and are working every day on improving as a team, which is most important.

On title favourites

All the teams are strong. All games, equally challenging. Some teams have difficult starts to their campaign, which affects the confidence and eventually the results. What is also important this season is how teams address their injuries. Injuries are the worst thing in football and I hope everyone who is out now, can play a role for their sides in the ISL.

For me, Mumbai City have a very good team and coach. Bengaluru FC are growing confident. FC Goa are getting stronger. So, I don’t think there are any favourites for winning the ISL title yet.


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