The tactician spoke after a disappointing result for his team against the league leaders.
Hyderabad FC’s playoffs ambitions suffered a huge blow on Monday. The outfit conceded late to draw their game with ATK Mohun Bagan 2-2. While Aridane Santana and Roland Alberg scored for the Nizams, Manvir Singh and Pritam Kotal scored a goal each for the Mariners. The draw means Manolo Marquez’s men are two points behind FC Goa and will hope NorthEast United falter in the last two games of the season.
The tactician spoke during the post-match media interaction and expressed that the team cannot feel sorry for themselves, especially after a resilient display, playing with 10 men for the majority of the game.
Proud of players
Manolo Marquez expressed his joy after seeing the players play the way they did against the potential league phase winners. He said, “It’s impossible to be more proud of these players. The win was very close, but the last action in the corner, I don’t mind if it’s offside or not. We are very proud about the players and let’s see if we are able to win against Goa in the next game.”
Tag of underdogs
Marquez was confronted with the fact that his team went into the fixture as underdogs and if that had helped take off some of the pressure. The Spaniard responded, “When you play with one player less, it’s more difficult for the opponents because you play with all the players behind the ball.
“The problem is that there was too much time. You can play maybe one half, but it’s minute four for the red card and it’s very difficult against this team,” he further added.
Challenge of losing crucial players
Ahead of a season-defining clash with FC Goa, Hyderabad FC will have to contend without their mainstays in Asish Rai, Francisco Sandaza and Aridane Santana, players who will miss out due to either injury or suspension.
Speaking in the context of this scenario being a handicap for HFC, Manolo Marquez said, “We had more difficult situations in the first half, we played against NorthEast in the first leg (of the league) without any foreigners. This team never gives up. If the team arrives in the top four, fantastic. If we don’t arrive, congratulations to the other team, but I am very proud of these players.”