‘We try to stick to our style of play’

Ahead of Hyderabad FC’s game against Bengaluru FC, Manolo Marquez speaks about the race to the top-4, his side’s recent results and more…

On the race to the top-4…

The competition in this league is pretty high. Most teams in the league are fighting for qualification and every game we face is going to be difficult. In football, the word ‘failure’ is used far too easily. And for me, there is no need to brand teams a failure in the Indian Super League if they fail to qualify, come the end of the season.

For me, expect Mumbai, every other team could qualify or drop out of the top-4 after 20 games. We have a lot of teams in the league that are doing really well so for us, the only thing we are thinking about at the moment is the game against Bengaluru FC.

On recent results…

Though we drew each of our last three games, we were in positions where we could have won those games and that is what is important for me, at the moment. Maybe we will look back at these games at the end of the season if we fail to qualify. But in a long league like the ISL, these kinds of results are common.

On two clean sheets in three games…

It is good that we can keep clean sheets because it means that you cannot lose the game. But we try to stick to our style of play and make sure that we do not concede too many chances. It has been going well at the back for us in recent games and we need to continue those performances, while also improving other areas of our game.

On the cramped schedule…

I am not really a man of excuses but it is totally unacceptable that the players need to play two games in less than 72 hours. We play tomorrow at 7:30 pm and then on Sunday at 5 pm. Thirteen games into the season, this schedule is really bad for the fitness of the players.

If you look at the schedule, these problems can be easily solved but maybe it will then affect other teams. You have to respect these things and give players a minimum of three days between games and at the moment, I am not really happy with the fixtures.

On the recent comments of Igor Stimac…

I wish that my players will get their chances for the national team. Some of them surely deserve to play for India and it would be fantastic if they get their chances. They are full of talent, have been playing in the ISL regularly for over a year now and deserve their breakthrough.

Not just for me or the players, it will be a proud moment for the staff involved at the club, the city, the fans and for everyone at the club if they can make their mark in the national side. If I am in India or in Spain in March, I will surely have my eye on the matches of the Indian national side.

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