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SportFootballGame against Mumbai will be very tough: HFC coach

Game against Mumbai will be very tough: HFC coach

Published: 20th Dec 2020 12:05 am | Updated: 19th Dec 2020 9:44 pm

Hyderabad: Hyderabad Football Club are one of the two teams to remain unbeaten in the Indian Super league. But that record will be under threat when they take on table toppers Mumbai City FC on Sunday.

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Coach Manolo Marquez Roca predicted a tough competition but said they have the resources to take on the strong Mumbai side. Speaking on the eve of the match, he said, “Mumbai are the favourite team to win the regular season. Of course, it is impossible to say who will win the playoffs. But Mumbai are sure to finish among the top four. It is a good team with very good coach and top quality players. For me, it is going to be one of the difficult games this season.”

“We have the ability to win the game. We prepare the same way as we do for other games. We read about opponents. They are a team that wants to keep the ball like our team, so we have to be prepared to defend well,” he added.

Hyderabad struggled to find field goals till their previous match against East Bengal scoring just one. But they scored three in their previous match against the bottom-placed East Bengal.

However, they also conceded in the process. Speaking about that match, he said, “That is football. I would prefer to win 3-0 every game. But sometimes, you are with consecutive clean sheets for three matches but we conceded two goals. But the important thing was to win the game. Despite conceding an early goal to East Bengal, we were able to equalise and turn the game. This is very difficult in football.”

Hyderabad are playing with only three foreigners owing to injuries and the 52-year-old Spaniard is delighted with the way the Indian players stepped up the game. “We are happy with the team’s performance and the attitude. We have to improve a lot. But if you had told me that we would have two wins and three draws after five games, I would not have believed. The mentality of the team is growing game by game.”

On the availability of foreign players, he said they would come into the team only by the end of January. “I have always said the team is not 11 but the 18 or 19 players. The injuries to foreign players forced us to play more Indian players but they are very impressive. The level of the Indian player is fantastic.”

The veteran coach also conceded that they need to convert their chances more to be more successful. “This is the most difficult (converting chances) in football. We would have been at the top of the table if we had converted our chances. We are a team that plays in a certain way. The other day in the first half, we had shot eight on target. It is a good number. But we have to improve in these kinds of situations to convert them into goals,” he concluded.

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