The Hyderabad FC boss also seemed surprised of Bengaluru FC’s position on the table.

The upcoming match between Hyderabad FC and Bengaluru FC is sure to be a crucial one for both teams in the Indian Super League (ISL 2022-23) season. Playing away from home at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru, Manolo Marquez’s side will aim to leapfrog Mumbai City and reach the top of the league table. 

As for the hosts, three points will go a long way in helping them stay in contention for a playoff spot. After 10 matches each, there is a difference of 12 points between the two outfits, which symbolises a change in fortunes in recent years.

Tactician Manolo Marquez spoke to the media in the pre-match press conference ahead of the fixture. Here are the excerpts from the conversation:

No room for error

Manolo Marquez believes that the league is becoming competitive and there is no room for error. He said in the context, “We start the second leg now. We were the team who got the rest in the last round. Now, all teams are in the middle of the competition. In every country, winning a game in the second leg is difficult because you do not have many chances to fail. For example, we have a match against BFC, and for them, it is mandatory to win.” 

“We know that we will find a very strong side in front of us with very good players. I am very surprised by the position of BFC on the table. But we know, 10 games, very good first leg for our team but the second leg will be very hard,” he added.

The expectation is to win every game

Going forward, the tactician is holding the team to very high standards. He quoted, “The expectation is to try to win every game. We have to go step by step, game by game and let us see what happens. Now you look at the table and we are only two points behind Mumbai City. There are four points between second and sixth and this year, it is important to finish in the top two because it cannot be an excuse to finish third or fourth and play an extra game.”

The format is not clear

Manolo Marquez had reservations about the odd format of the Indian Super League.

“I don’t like this system of the ISL. I still don’t know if Jamshedpur FC considers they are the champions or Hyderabad considers we are the champions. The format of the competition is not very clear. If you are the champion in the regular season, okay, or if there are playoffs, the team which has to play in the Champions League is the team which is the champion (of the playoffs) and in this case, it has to be Hyderabad,” he expressed.

Bengaluru FC have a good team

Talking about the upcoming game, the Spaniard said that BFC have a strong squad and the game will be challenging. He opined, “They have a very good team and have a lot of international players that play in the Indian national team. They have Javi Hernandez, and they have signed Pablo Perez, another very good player. They have good centre-backs. It’s true that they have a change in the system, but I think that now they are playing a similar system they played in the Durand Cup where they were the champions.”

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