The Nizams suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of the Mariners.

Hyderabad FC suffered a 1-0 defeat against ATK Mohun Bagan at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata, on 26 November 2022. The reigning Indian Super League (ISL) champions could not break the stubborn defence of the hosts who took the three points thanks to Hugo Boumous’ first-half goal. Manolo Marquez and co suffered a second defeat in a row by the same margin in the ISL. Despite playing decent football during the game, there was a lack of cohesion by the side in the final third. 

The tactician talks about this and more during the post-match press conference. Here are the excerpts from the conversation:

Thoughts on the game

Talking about the game, Manolo Marquez was brief in his response and said, “ATK (Mohun Bagan) deserved to win. We did absolutely nothing to win this game. It’s an easy summary of the game.”

Lack of Hunger

An exciting opinion that Manolo Marquez holds is that his players do not have the same hunger as last year to win the title. He said, “This is not about the game we lost today. We are winning games and are in a good position at the table, but the team is nothing when you can compare it with last season with the same players. I’m very unhappy with our performance.”

“When you win, nothing happens and it seems like all is fantastic. But I think I have a lot of experience in this case and I knew that we’ll lose one day. Let’s see what can be done. I don’t know who asked me about being champion last season, but let’s see what happens this season. One thing isn’t a coincidence no team can repeat the title in ISL. Maybe now I’m finding the answer to why that happens now. For us, it’s because the players are not hungry to repeat the title,” he further added.

The reason behind goal drought

Talking about the lack of goals from Hyderabad FC, the head coach believes there needs to be a change at the club, be it with the arrival of a new coach or players. He said, “The problem is the coach. We don’t have the clinical nature in the game. Even against Kerala, we created 1-2 goals. Today, I think we only had the handball action in the end. But I can’t tell you anything about that.

He added, “Practically, apart from the 20 mins against Jamshedpur and parts of good football against Odisha, we didn’t deserve to win the game against FC Goa. I think the team is that sometimes you know that in three years with the same coach – it’s sometimes you either change the coach or the players to bring change.”

Rediscovering form

Manolo Marquez advocates the need to rekindle last year’s hunger and improve the standards of performance in order to avoid results like the one against ATK Mohun Bagan. He said, “If you play football, you have to be motivated. If I play football, I don’t need my coach to motivate me. If you think you aren’t motivated being the defending champions, then you have to find that fire or leave football. We have to find that same behaviour as last season.”

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