‘We want more, and we are ready to fight for it’

Fran Sandaza wins ‘Performer of the Match’ against KBFC; vows to fight till the end for qualification

Not for the first time this season, the experienced Fran Sandaza put in a match-winning performance for Hyderabad FC, as Manolo Marquez side registered their sixth victory of the season with the 4-0 thrashing of Kerala Blasters on Tuesday.

With three points a must for Hyderabad, they needed to take every chance they created and Sandaza was the player who started the scoring on the night. He got the at the end of a loose ball and poked home to give us a lead just before the hour mark on Tuesday and also went on to add to his tally, from the spot just five minutes later.

His efforts saw him voted as the ‘Performer of the Match’ by the Hyderabad FC fans on Social Media for the second time this season, which was hardly a surprise. The Spaniard is currently in a rich vein of form and could be crucial for Hyderabad FC in this race to the top-4.

“We must go game by game. We have two games that are really hard and we need to keep up the good work,” said Sandaza, speaking after the game against the Blasters.

The No. 21 was not too active in the build-up play, registering just 21 touches and completing just seven passes in the 64 minutes he was on the field. However, he won three fouls in this time, put in three crucial tackles and was key to Hyderabad dominating the game.

Sandaza now has four goals and two assists in 276 minutes of league action and is going to be important for HFC’s chances of qualification. But he believes that his side have a lot of hard work still to do.

“We always knew it was going to be tough. I think we are doing well to get close to our aims for the season but there are still a lot of challenges and we want to take them game by game,” said Sandaza.

With a goal conversion rate of 40%, Sandaza is easily one of the most lethal strikers in the league but he has been available for just nine games, which has surely cost HFC a few points at the start of the season.

“I have been unlucky with injuries in the beginning but now I am not thinking about it. We are looking forward to play as a team and reaching as far as we can in this season,” he added.

Hyderabad FC are currently in 3rd place in the league table and need positive results in the remaining two games of the competition. Manolo Marquez has already spoken about how his side are not ready to give up and Sandaza had something similar to say as well.

“Our strength is that we are a close group, with some talented players all around the field,” said Sandaza.

“It has been a good season for us so far but we want more. We want to qualify for the playoffs and for that, we are ready to fight till the end,” he added.

Hyderabad FC are back in action when they host ATK Mohun Bagan next Monday, in yet another crucial clash in their quest to the playoffs.

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