The Spaniard provided updates on some of his injured players.

Hyderabad FC failed in their opportunity to create a substantial gap in the top four battle, as they were held to a 1-1 draw against Odisha FC in the Indian Super League on Tuesday. A second half equalizer from Cole Alexander cancelled out Holicharan Narzary’s opener, resulting in a frustrating draw for the Nizams. Manolo Marquez remained very pragmatic with his thinking following the draw.

Two points dropped?

He was asked whether it was two points dropped on the day. He answered, “It was one point deserved in the second half and two points dropped in the first. I think at half-time if it was 3-0, we would have won it. But, in the second half, they had very clear chances to win the game. When normally your chances are in the first half, you think that maybe at half-time the game is finished.”

The Spaniard remains worried with his team’s inability to convert their chances, saying, “We created some great chances, scored a goal and shot the ball on target very well. We forced some great saves, didn’t have problems in defence either. We spoke about this at half-time, that if we score the second goal the game would practically be finished. But, I think that not only the equalizer, but also the injury of Holi (Holicharan Narzary) impacted the result.”

When asked about whether his side allowed Odisha to come back and snatch a point from the game too easily, Manolo Marquez explained, “Easily or not, I don’t know. But, we couldn’t score multiple goals in the first half. I think in the second half we were very tired. All the teams are very tired because it’s very difficult to play 3-4 games at one go. For me, the positive thing is that we arrived today with 16 points and now have 17. That’s the best thing.”

Satisfied with overall performance

Despite the result, the Spanish tactician remains happy with his team’s performance, as he said, “I’m very happy with the performance of the entire squad. But, of course, the likes of Asish (Rai), Akash (Mishra), Hitesh (Sharma), Liston (Colaco), Holi are playing really well and contributing in the goals. I’m very happy with (Laxmikant) Kattimani and the Indian players as well. But, I’m very happy with the group in general. The strength of this team is the group.”

WATCH: Manolo Marquez speaks at the post-match press conference

Halicharan Narzary stepping up

Halicharan Narzary is now the joint-top Indian scorer in the ISL this season with four goals and when asked about what he’s done to inspire his form, Manolo Marquez gave an amusing answer. “I am a wizard! Sometimes, you don’t know why, but in one season you score all the goals that you fail to in other seasons.

“It’s not just that he scored all these goals, but that he has been getting all these chances. I think today maybe he could score three goals! But, I’m very happy with his performance and how his teammates have the confidence to pass the ball to him. We aren’t satisfied because we wanted to win today, but not always is that possible.”

When asked about whether his team’s performance levels dropped due to Narzary’s substitution, the Spaniard said, “It’s possible because when you have an injured player, maybe it affects the mentality of other players as well. But, that is not an excuse. I think we put 11 players and everyone is equally important. Of course, Hali scored the goal, he hit the post and had another chance. He played a very good game, but let’s see now the extent of his injury. Maybe, it can affect my team too.

“I know it’s a shoulder injury. But, I don’t know exactly if that’s possible or not. Let’s see if he can play or miss the next game. Of course, he started the second half with the knock, but couldn’t continue because of the extent of it,” he added.

Availability of Subrata Paul and Nikhil Poojary

Moreover, when asked about the availability of Subrata Paul and Nikhil Poojary, Manolo Marquez said, “There are two more players in this team. We have more injury troubles to deal with now. We have Joao (Victor), Joel (Chianese) and other important players injured. I think all of them are close to playing soon.

“We need them because while we have a good bench, those on the bench lack experience and are very young right now. I think Joel and Joao will be fit for the game against Jamshedpur. I don’t know about the other ones exactly. I think 1-2 weeks ago, we told the staff that there’s a lot of teams who are very tired and we’re one of them for sure.”

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