The 52-year-old is confident his team will advance to the ISL play-offs this season …
Hyderabad is currently fourth in the standings with 19 points in 14 games heading into their 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) game against Chennaiyin on Sunday.
If NorthEast United (18 points in 13 games) clinch a victory over Mumbai City on Saturday, the Highlanders will be fourth, which will see Hyderabad FC come out of the top four. But Hyderbad FC manager Manuel Marquez only cares about his team’s results and isn’t too worried about his position on the table.
“You know how football is. In the first leg, after five games, we were unbeaten, everyone was saying ”Hyderabad, Hyderabad“. Then we had three straight losses and the team was in the middle of the table but after two straight wins against Chennaiyin (4-1) and NorthEast (4-2), we finished third.
“Now when you are the fourth team on the table, you are the benchmark for the other teams. Sometimes you can go fifth and sometimes you can go third. I think all teams depend on their own performance. If we get good results, we don’t worry about anything (for the other teams), ”he said.
Hyderabad had four draws on the trot, two of them scoreless and the last being a 2-2 result against Bengaluru FC on Thursday.
“The team has to score (from) chances, but the most important thing is to have those clear chances. I think it’s true that the team is playing attractive football but the most important thing is the final score. People can say the draw is nothing but now we have four points more than four games ago. Now against Chennaiyin, it’s a perfect opportunity for them to have the same points as our team and for our team to put some distance between the two teams, ”Marquez said.
Hyderabad will play their third game in eight days and the Spaniard has hinted that a few of his players who have played fewer minutes this season might take a look. He also expects Chennaiyin FC to come at them hard in response to the 4-1 humiliation inflicted on them by Hyderabad.
“We are confident [of making the play-offs] because it is impossible to ask more from the players (of Hyderabad). They train like animals. Yesterday was a session for those who played less minutes and they trained amazingly.
“We were closer to winning the last four games. It would have been easier (to win) if we had scored our chances. For example, against Chennaiyin in the first leg, in the first half it was 0-0 but we had a lot. In the second half we scored on a rebound, so you never know what can happen in a game.
“Maybe they will try to get revenge. We remember the first game but it’s not the same. All games are very different. The only thing is they had six days to rest and we had less than three but that’s the schedule and we have to play. It won’t be an excuse if we lose this match, ”Marquez stressed.