Bambolim (Goa), Nov 24 (IANS) Hyderabad FC coach Manolo Marquez said that keeping a clean sheet in their first match of the 2020/21 Indian Super League (ISL) season is a reason for the team to be happy.
Hyderabad conceded goals in all matches that they played in the truncated pre-season and yet, they started off their campaign on Monday with a 1-0 win over Odisha FC.
“Even in the pre-season we conceded two goals in all games barring one. But we got the first clean sheet today and it certainly is a reason to be satisfied,” said Marquez in the post-match press conference at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim, Goa.
Hyderabad kept possession of the ball and did not allow Odisha to get a shot on target until the dying minutes of the first half. Marquez said that they have to play possession-based football to compensate to what he called a lack of physical strength.
“We have to play according to the kind of players we have. If we play long balls and set plays, it becomes very difficult to win. For me the way to achieve good results is manage the game. We are not strong enough physically and need to keep possession,” he said.
After the hour-mark, Marquez brought on 22-year-old Goan forward Liston Colaco who ended up becoming headache for the Odisha defenders.
“Liston Colaco is a very good player. Very powerful. For me the game was for Liston after we took the lead. He has a lot of quality and can play in many different positions. For example, today he was a second striker but other times, he plays as a winger. He is very powerful and for me is a young guy with a bright future,” said Marquez.
All five yellow cards that referee Tejas Nagvenkar showed were to Odisha FC players and coach Stuart Baxter said that it was a result of the frustration that came with chasing the game coupled with the tiredness because of a short pre-season.
“Don’t think I am different to any of the other coaches, would have liked to have more time with the team. Once we gave away the penalty, we were chasing the game and the frustration of that resulted in a few ill-timed challenges,” he said.