‘Always important that you have players who are used to scoring goals’

Ahead of Hyderabad FC’s clash against The Highlanders, Head Coach Manolo Marquez speaks about the tight schedule, chances of a top-4 finish, and more…

On the league table taking shape…

It is difficult to predict the position most teams will finish the league this season. For me, Mumbai and ATKMB are maybe slightly better than the other teams but this is a unique season and anything can happen. The schedule is also a bit packed for every team so you need to avoid injuries and have a lot of luck to do well this season.

It is difficult to say where teams will be at the end of the season. So for us, we are trying to take one game at a time and are now, we are only thinking about our next game.

On fatigue setting in due to the tight schedule…

For me, the biggest problem this season has been the pandemic. Many Indian players have not played professional football since March while a few of the overseas players did play till August. So, it is natural that the youngsters in the squad looked tired in the last game, and not just in our team, I see it in most other games as well.

It is not important if it is Indian players or overseas players, we have to keep them away from injuries and fatigue. But unfortunately, there is not much we can do about it this season.

On other players at HFC chipping in with goals…

It is always important that you have players who are used to scoring goals. Yes, Aridane is our main goal scorer, but you also need goals from other outfield players. Maybe the wingers and midfielders add a few goals and even centre-backs can score from set-pieces.

It is also great for the confidence of individual players and the team as a whole that there are players who can offer goals in attack and this will be important for us going into the rest of the season.

On both teams grooming Indian players…

We are talking about the ‘Indian’ Super League. Surely, youngsters getting their chances is good for the clubs, the league and also the national team. I am sure the Indian football fans are really proud of all these players making headlines in the ISL.

Teams like Chennaiyin and NorthEast also have a few quality Indian players and it is what we need to improve the quality in the ISL for years to come.

On fighting for a place in the play-offs…

I am happy with the performances of my team. The style we play is the style that is best suited for the players we have. Yes, we still have to work on different aspects of our game and improve but at times, the most important thing is to win, and it does not matter how you do it.

I am satisfied with the way we are working and our current position in the league table and so far. I am proud of Hyderabad FC.

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