Hyderabad: Hyderabad Football Club had a decent run in the Indian Super League so far. Having started the league with a victory, they remained unbeaten after drawing their last three fixtures. However, they will get a golden opportunity to get back a win in their kitty when they take on struggling and bottom-placed East Bengal side on Tuesday.
In the four matches, Hyderabad managed just three goals. However, two of them were from penalty and they had only one field goal. Coach Manolo Marquez Roca did accept that they are worried about not scoring goals and need to find ways to find the target more often, going ahead in the season.
“We are very happy with the performance of the team so far. We are unbeaten so far. Two of these three drawn games are against strong ATK and Bengaluru. So we are happy with ourselves. There is also the fact that we are playing with more Indian players than any other team as most of our foreign players were injured. Considering this, it was a very good show. The Indian players showed big character on the field. It is possible we will see new Indian players in next games,” he said on Monday.
When asked about the lack of goals for HFC, he added, “Our style of play is to keep the possession. I think as a team we had more shots (17) in the game against Bengaluru. But out of them only two are on the target. That (not scoring goals) is the problem we have to solve. It is not easy. The team is compact and we have to create more chances. We are working on it.”
Hyderabad’s progress has been hit by injuries to key players and the coach hopes they will return soon. “Yes, the injuries did affect us. A lot of players are injured and Hyderabad is the team with the most injured foreign players. Hopefully, they will recover very soon and we know that we have a lot of Indian players and we have a lot of confidence in them. Once they recover, we can do a very good show.”
East Bengal failed to record a single win so far and the 52-year-old Spaniard feels they won’t have it easy on Tuesday. “All the games are crucial. They didn’t win a game but they played against strong ATK and Mumbai. East Bengal are improving as a team.”
The experienced coach was shown the red card in the match against Jamshedpur FC forcing him to sit out of their previous match against ATK Mohun Bagan. Speaking about the incident, he revealed, “It is better if I don’t speak on it. They put me on a ban for one match. I want to say that the Hyderabad team is the one with less yellow cards. We have only three so far and I am the only coach in the league with a ban in this competition. This was my first red card as a coach in my entire career. I had to accept the decision and try to avoid this kind of situation.”
Speaking about refereeing, when Mohun Bagan player Prabid Das escaped with a yellow card after kicking Hyderabad player Nikhil in the face, the coach said, “For me it was a red card. But if the referee didn’t see the reaction or he considered the yellow card, we have to respect the opinion. Maybe the fourth official was in the best position to see the action.”
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