The Hyderabad FC head coach also shed light on Bartholomew Ogbeche’s absence.

Hyderabad FC secured a 1-0 win against Kerala Blasters in the last league stage fixture of the ISL 2022-23 season. It was a close contest between two teams who secured qualification into the ISL playoffs prior to this fixture, thereby making it a dead rubber. It was an opportunity for the tacticians, Ivan Vukomanovic and Manolo Marquez, to give their squad players more game-time. Despite changes on both ends, the game was full of high-octane action with no room for error. In the end, Borja Herrera scored the vital goal that got his team three points.

Manolo Marquez was pleased with the performance and it was evident during his interaction with the reporters during the post-match press conference. Here are the excerpts from the conversation:

Hostile environment

Playing away from home against Kerala Blasters at the JLN stadium in Kochi is difficult. Winning against the Yellow Army is an even tougher task. Talking about his team’s performance, Manolo Marquez said, “We won in a very difficult stadium. It’s fantastic, it’s marvellous to play in front of all these people. I know that it was not a fantastic game, but I think we needed to play a game with this spirit that we showed today. We’re very happy with the win.”

Important to focus

The tactician also talked about how reaching the semi-finals directly means his team must work hard in training. “The opponent has to play the last game (eliminator) before they play against us. They will arrive in very good condition. So as a team, we need to keep training,” the tactician said, indicating that their opponents in the semis will be fresher and sharper.

Absence of Bartholomew Ogbeche

The striker took part in the pre-match press conference but did not feature in the game against Kerala Blasters. There was a disappointment to see Ogbeche not in the squad to face his former team in Kochi for the first time ever. 

Explaining the situation around Ogbeche’s absence, Manolo Marquez said, “There was a problem in the last training session but it was nothing serious. He will be surely ready (for the upcoming matches). Maybe, if today was a must-win game for us, then I think he could’ve played.”

For more updates, follow Khel Now on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and join our community on Telegram.