July 30, 2021

‘We have 16 points, we deserve 16 points’ – Hyderabad boss Manuel Marquez calls for focus ahead of Odisha tie

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The Spaniard felt that The Nizams had their best game of the season in the goalless draw against Mumbai City…

Hyderabad FC coach Manuel Marquez is not worried about the standings as they take on Odisha FC in the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL) on Tuesday evening.

They are currently fourth on the table ahead of Chennaiyin FC‘s game against East Bengal on Monday. Hyderabad might go down to fifth should Chennaiyin pick a win in that game. However, Marquez is unperturbed. 

He also termed his side’s 0-0 draw against Mumbai City last weekend as ‘one of the most complete games of Hyderabad this season’ but added that there’s a long way to go. 

“We are focussing on this game without giving importance on the table. I don’t think too much that ‘if we win this game, we will be in the top four’ or ‘if Chennaiyin wins today, we will be out of the top four’.

“The confidence of our team is better after this (Mumbai City) game but we have to keep calm and be careful as we have played only 11 games and have nine games more. We didn’t get a clean sheet from our second game (0-0 draw against Bengaluru). I think the players understood the plan of the game and played very compact. Mumbai couldn’t find space between our lines and we deserved this clean sheet,” he said.

Hyderabad began the season with an unbeaten run of five games and, after three consecutive defeats, have put together a good run of form that has seen them pick seven points from their last three games.

“All the moments in the season are important . When you start well, it’s fantastic because you can add some points. After three defeats, [when] the team reacts, it’s a very important moment too. Normally, in the second leg to get good results is more difficult because all the teams are trying to give their best performance,” Marquez felt.

“We have 16 points. We deserve 16 points and the past is not important in this situation. What is important is how the team is playing. We could have more points or less points because you alway remember when you deserve more and forget the other situations.”

On the other hand, Odisha languishing at the bottom of the table makes no difference to the Hyderabad coach who feels any team can beat any team in the ISL. 

“The first game in the first leg (against Odisha) was very different. I remember that Jacob Tratt, Vinit Rai, Jerry (Mawihmingthanga) were not in the team (unavailable for selection). In that game we played better than Odisha but finally won only 1-0 from a penalty. Odisha, in the last [few] games, are playing better. I know that they are at the bottom but we know that against all the teams you can win or lose. 

“If we want to manage the situation until the end of the season we have to continue with this line step by step. After Odisha, Jamshedpur, then Bengaluru. I know all the people say ‘you can lose against Mumbai and win against Odisha’. We could win against Mumbai and we can draw or lose against Odisha if we don’t focus on the game,” Marquez apprised.