The tactician gave his opinion on various topics ahead of the crucial game against the reigning champions.

The second game of the ongoing Indian Super League season for Hyderabad FC will see them clash against Mumbai City FC. Both outfits had differing results in their opening games and come into the fixture in contrasting moods. The Nizams suffered a defeat against Chennaiyin FC, while the Islanders recorded a comfortable win over FC Goa. HFC’s head coach Manolo Marquez believes that his team did not deserve to lose their first game of the season.

His men dominated the game, had more possession and yet came away with nothing. The Spaniard is well aware of the threat Mumbai City pose and will hope to get a better result in the game against them. Manolo Marquez spoke at length about various important topics during the pre-match press conference on Friday. Here are the excerpts from the interaction:

Importance of game & preparation

Hyderabad FC have a huge challenge waiting when the team face ISL champions Mumbai City. Marquez accepts the quality in MCFC’s squad, but believes his team are optimistic, despite the various obstacles and preparing well. He said in this regard, “They have a very strong team. For me, its not very much about statistics. It’s the second game, we lost our first game. Of course, we want to win this game, but we know that is a very difficult game.

“The team is preparing like always in ISL. Unfortunately, for COVID, between two matches you play too much and not too many days to rest, not too much days to prepare for the next game. I think we are optimistic after our first game, despite everything.” Marquez commented in the context of his team’s preparation.

Watch: Hyderabad FC coach Manolo Marquez shares his thoughts ahead of Mumbai City FC match

Deserved more in last match

While talking about MCFC and the opening day defeat against CFC, Marquez indicated that it is helpful to start with a win. He also believes that his men deserved more than what they got against the Marina Machans in the previous match. In this context, he said, “It is always better to start with a win, a victory. Like last season, we won our first game against Odisha, but sometimes football is like this. I think more or less, all of us agree that we didn’t deserve to lose the first game. But, this is football.

“We now play against a very strong team. They are the champions and they have started the season with a win,” he further commented while talking about the Islanders.

Areas of improvement

Marquez opined that his team made a lot of attacking moves, but there was a lack of options inside the box. Talking about the areas where the team can improve, he said, “I think we need to arrive with more players to the box and to be more clinical in the actions.

“The other day we had the ball, we combined very well, but I think we need to arrive with more players to the box because sometimes, only Bart (Ogbeche) and one winger arrive at the box. We need to improve in this area.”

An update on Halicharan Narzary’s injury

Halicharan Narzary was a great performer for HFC last season and a lot of expectations are riding on his shoulders this campaign. However, the winger had to leave the field early against CFC due to a knee issue and Manolo Marquez confirmed that he will be unavailable for the foreseeable future.

“We don’t know exactly how many games he cannot play. But, he has an injury in the internal part of the knee, the internal ligament of the knee. Let’s see, 2-3 games maybe he cannot play.”

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