Hyderabad: Having suffered a three-match loss, Hyderabad Football Club returned to winning ways with back-to-back victories in their previous two matches in the Indian Super League. However, they will face a tough challenge when they take on table toppers Mumbai City FC on Saturday.
According to Hyderabad FC coach Manolo Marquez Roca, Mumbai are the top side in the league and he tipped them to win the regular season with consummate ease.
“They are at a different level. I have always maintained they are a very strong side. I am sure they will win the regular season. We can’t be sure of knockout matches as anything can happen in football. So this match is going to be very tough,” he said on the eve of their 11th match of the season.
With 15 points from 10 matches, the team from the land of Nizam is placed at fourth while Mumbai, with 25 points, are unbeaten in their last nine matches. Speaking on the challenge, he said, “There are a lot of very good players on their side. We can try to change a few things in this match but can’t lose our style of play for one game. We will play Odisha FC in the next three days again. We have to continue with our style of play. It will be a very difficult game.”
Hyderabad had a weak-long break after their big 4-2 win against NorthEast United and the 52-year-old Spaniard feels the break has rejuvenated the team. “We had two wins and had a long break. In this kind of competition, when you play every four or five days, or three days, breaks are always good for recovery of players and also your head is more fresh. It is not good to play continuously,” he added.
Speaking about youngster Liston Colaco, who came in the final minutes and scored two goals against NorthEast United, he said, “Liston is a very good player. The other day, he decided the match with two goals. But let’s see (whether he will start) because we have to play 10 games in 43 days and he might or might not play in the line-up. We can’t play with the same set of players. If Liston plays tomorrow or Tuesday he might get a chance.”
He also revealed that the experienced goalkeeper Subrata Paul has a problem with his knee and he will be out for a few more matches, leaving Laxmikant Kattimani donning the role of their custodian.
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