The Spaniard spoke about his team’s preparations ahead of the clash against Odisha FC.

Hyderabad FC will kick-off the new season in an away game against Odisha FC on Monday, 23rd November. The Nizams have gone through many changes from the last campaign, with Manolo Marquez coming in as the new coach and many newly-recruited players in their squad.

Ahead of the opening encounter, the Spaniard spoke to media personnel, emphasizing on the importance of the young players in the squad. “If players like Rohit Danu, Akash Mishra and Liston Colaco continue in the team, Hyderabad can be a very good team in the future. We have more young players in the team who possess good quality as well and we are very satisfied with them. They have to show passion for the game, but I think that they will play more than many people might think. They are important for the team.”

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Due to COVID-19, the whole seventh season of the Indian Super League (ISL) is restricted to just three venues and has been reduced to a closed door event. Even though Manolo Marquez is very optimistic about the season to come, he feels that missing the fans will be a huge negative aspect for his team. Speaking about this issue, he said, “The fans are the most important for the club and if you play in an empty stadium then it’s not good. We like to play in front of full stands; but the situation is the same for all teams. Currently, the teams who play away may have more possibilities to win the game, but right now it does not matter if you play home or away.”

“The first game is important. It is important to start with a victory, but I prefer to lose the first game and win the next 19. The plan is more or less the same for every game,” he quoted.

Speaking about the opposition, Manolo Marquez commented, “Odisha FC for example, they have a very good coach who has a lot of experience from across the world, but he was in quarantine till 10 days ago. It is not easy for him and for Odisha as well. They have played only two friendly games. This will be very tough to know how they play.”

Lastly, speaking about the injuries in the camp, the Spaniard said, “At the moment, we have only two injured players – Dimple (Bhagat) and Fran Sandaza.

Meanwhile, Aridane Santana also attended the meet and he is charged up for the season to come. Last year, when he was at Odisha FC, he was leading the goalscoring charts, when unfortunately he had to halt his campaign due to injury. Now at Hyderabad FC, the target man feels that he has some unfinished business in the league. “In football it happens (injury). We cannot look in the past and think about what happened. This time, I am looking forward to scoring a lot of goals for my team once again and this is a new season, a new start,” he spoke.

“Shortened pre-season will not have a huge impact on the preparations for the team,” Holicharan Narzary, who was also present during the meet added.

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