The Nizams are aiming for a fifth win in a row with an eye on reaching the top of the table.

Hyderabad FC faces FC Goa in their next Indian Super League 2022-23 fixture. The fixture at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium is surely going to be an exciting one. The Gaurs perform well in front of their own fans while the Nizams are on a four-match winning run, having won their last two matches on the road.

Manolo Marquez spoke to the media during the pre-match press conference ahead of the game. He was cautious of the threat Carlos Pena and co can pose but at the same time believed that it will be a tough game for both teams. He was also joined by Aaren D’Silva during the interaction. 

Here are the excerpts from the conversation:

Expecting a tough game

Talking about the upcoming game, Manolo Marquez expects the contest to be a tough one. In this regard, he said, “It is going to be a very tough game, and it is true that they have better results at home than away. They are a good team, they have very good players and have a coach who knows the club perfectly. They have good foreigners…it is a team that will qualify for the top six. I am sure it will be a tough game for us but for them too.”

The reverse fixture

The tactician believes that his team must improve on their performance against the Gaurs the last time they met. Repeating the same performance could lead to a negative result. “The FC Goa game (reverse fixture) was the only game this season that we did not deserve to win. For us, it is good that you win these kinds of games but if you repeat that performance, there will be a lot of problems. We have to be perfect against them if we are to win or at least play a good game because win or lose or draw, at least we must have a good performance” he stated while speaking to the journalists.

Intense competition

Manolo Marquez is not a fan of the six-team playoff format and believes it is strange that a team finishing sixth can be the champions at the end of the campaign. In this context, he said, “It is true that in this moment of the competition, even the teams below the top six have chances to arrive in the top six and qualify for the playoffs, the fight will be very hard and still we have to play eight games and against teams that are (near) the top of the table.”

Aaren D’Silva on playing in Goa

Aaren D’Silva hails from Goa and facing his former side FC Goa will be an interesting experience for him. “It is a special game because, being from Goa, I have always dreamed of playing there and last season we did. Playing in front of the crowd and the family will really be special, and I hope we perform because we have been training hard,” he opined while talking on the subject of travelling to Goa for the game.

“The mood has always been amazing with the group of players that we have. We have been more like a family than anything else. The bond is very strong.” he further added while talking about the mindset of the players leading up to the match.

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