‘I have confidence in my side that they will perform under pressure’

Ahead of the crucial game against NorthEast United, Manolo Marquez speaks about his side’s recent run of form, the pressure of qualifying for the top-4 and more…

On an unbeaten January…

Before the win against Chennai in the last game, it was just four points in four games. So, I think you should talk about the bigger picture. We scored 13 goals in the seven games in January, but eight of those came in just two games. What really matters is that we are playing good football and if we can continue that, I have confidence that my team can go a long way.

On the importance of the win against Chennaiyin…

It was really crucial for us to open a gap in the table with Chennaiyin as they were close to us before the game. But every win is important in a league like this. Some people might say if we win against NorthEast, we are practically in the top-4 and if we lose, we are out of it. But I think neither of those statements is true. We have five games left and we have confidence that we can do well in all those games.

On the impact of subs for Hyderabad FC in recent games…

I always said that we need more players to get the right results. Especially when the league is so short and the players are getting tired. This is normal for all teams, like for NorthEast, who play on Sunday, just two days after playing FC Goa.

But yes, the likes of Rohit Danu, Sahil Tavora and Roland Alberg all deserve to play and I am happy that they are able to make an impact, even if it is off the bench. But they are the players who are fresh and could get more minutes in the rest of the season.

On the pressure of qualification…

For me, every team is still in the race. Yes, a few teams will struggle to make it to the top-4 but at this moment, ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City are practically qualified. Us and NorthEast along with Goa have the same points while Jamshedpur and Bengaluru are not out of it yet.

I know there is pressure on us to finish in the top-4. But for me, you need to enjoy these moments and do your best. As a footballer, if you cannot perform under pressure, you need to find a new sport. But I have confidence in my side that they will perform under pressure and get us the right results.

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