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ISL: "We can't afford to repeat same mistakes," says Hyderabad Coach Manolo Marquez

Hyderabad boss Manolo Márquez addressed the media ahead of the ISL 2021-22 campaign

Hyderabad boss Manolo Márquez addressed the media ahead of the ISL 2021-22 campaign

Hyderabad boss Manolo Márquez addressed the media ahead of the ISL 2021-22 campaign


Archan Mukherjee

Published: 20 Nov 2021 9:51 AM GMT

Hyderabad FC host Chennaiyin FC at the GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolin for their first game of the eighth edition of the Indian Super League (ISL). HFC, after failing to qualify for the playoffs last season, will be eyeing for the top-4 spot this season. The Nizams, under their head coach Manolo Márquez, will be looking to maintain their inspiring performance from last season.

The club has retained its core team and coaching staff from last year and has also made some amazing signings. However, they will miss the services of senior Indian international, Liston Colaco who has joined ATK Mohun Bagan. Márquez admits that this edition of the ISL will be tougher, but he is also confident that his side is ready to accept the challenge.

Here's what the Hyderabad head coach had to say in full in his pre-match press conference:

On preparation for the Indian Super League(ISL) and pre-season friendlies...

"First of all, I'm very happy to be here again for my second season," Manolo told the media. Now talking about the preparation of the team he said, "We started our pre-season camp two months earlier in Hyderabad, and our preparation is pretty good. But it was always difficult because of the covid situation so we decided to start our season a bit earlier this time and had two months to prepare ourselves."
Quizzed about the performance on the pre-season friendlies, he said, "Pre-season friendly games are no different than training sessions. About the scorelines, it is quite similar to the pre-season results of last season and I don't think there is much to worry about as it will not affect the tournament. Every time we are going out on the ground, we're doing better," he added further.
Hyderabad FC's training is in full swing; [Image Source: HFC Media]

On lessons learned from the previous season and the upcoming challenge...

The HFC boss was asked about his team's performance in the 2020-21 season. To this, he explained, "Last season was fantastic for us. If you see our last encounter against FC Goa, we were almost through to the playoffs until Ivan's (Gonzalez) denied us in the 94th minute with a goal-line clearance. But it was not just about that when you're playing a league of 20 matches, you have to take every possible opportunity."

On asked about his new hurdles, the 53-year-old said, "You've to be positive when you are beginning a new season. You have to be always optimistic but we can't afford to repeat the same mistakes we did last season. And I believe we have a very good chance to qualify for the playoffs this time."

On team news ahead of the opening clash

HFC missed out on some of their crucial players due to injuries last season. This time when asked about injuries and absentees he said, "It is too early to talk about this, we still have four or five days left before the game. But, as of now, there are no injury issues in the squad and everyone is available for the selection".

Importance of Bartholomew Ogbeche

When asked about his seniormost player in the squad he said, " He's a huge player for us. Having a player of his caliber always helps the team. He brings the experience of playing in the World Cup and Champions League. Barth is also currently the third-highest goalscorer in the Indian Super League. So, yes, I'm looking forward to seeing him in the tournament."

His advice to young Indian players

Manolo Márquez started his managerial career at the age of 34 and he came to India last year with a lot of experience. He said the new rule of four foreigners will help the young players to get more game time. He reflected on his experience of working with young Indian players and said, "The difference is their mentality. When you see players like Sunil Chhetri, they don't lose hope too early and instead, they work harder to get it done better. But, in the case of young players, they lose their focus too early. As I said, the mentality is the key difference and they should work hard on it."

Hyderabad FC head coach Manuel "Manolo" Márquez Roca; [Image Source: HFC Media]

On Rohit Danu

The Spaniard, in his view on Danu, said, "He is smart and I believe he will be an important member for us in this year's ISL". "He is only 19 and if nurtured well, he can become a great prospect for Indian football in the future", he added.

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