‘It’s not just Santana who’s scoring’ – Manuel Marquez pleased that Hyderabad have goalscorers all over the pitch

The coach from Barcelona is happy that Hyderabad are not relying on Aridane Santana for goals…

Hyderabad coach Manolo Marquez has revealed his admiration for the style of football NorthEast United have adopted this season ahead of facing them in an Indian Super League (ISL) clash on Friday.

The Nizams started 2021 with a 4-1 win over Chennaiyin, while NorthEast United recently suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of ATK Mohun Bagan.

“The other day we won 4-1 after three consecutive defeats. Now, after we won 4-1, they say we scored four goals and Aridane (Santana) didn’t score. Now NorthEast, they started with two wins and four draws but they didn’t win the last five games but it’s the same answer (for them). I think NorthEast can win this game and so can we.

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“NorthEast are not in their best form in terms of their results but they have had good games against good opponents. They have good players and a good coach (Gerard Nus). They are with a very good organisation. I like the style of NorthEast. They are fast on the wings,” the Hyderabad coach conceded.

Marquez also revealed that he expects his entire squad to be fit for selection only for their match against Mumbai City on Janaury 16. 

Chennaiyin vs Hyderabad

“Aridane is our top scorer but when you build a team, you want the wingers to score goals, centre backs from setpieces to score goals. I was told that Hali (Halicharan Narzary) doesn’t normally score many goals but now with two goals against Chennaiyin, he now has three goals in the season. Sometimes you don’t know what will happen but of course it’s good news for our team that not only Aridane is scoring goals. 

“I am very happy with the performance of our players. I don’t know if we play better than the other teams. The style of our team is the style of our players. With these kind of players it’s very difficult to play with long balls. Of course, this part of the game we know that we have to manage. It’s nice to see the style of these players but sometimes the most important thing is to win. The way we are getting our victories is very good,” he stated.

Marquez had earlier claimed that Mumbai City FC and ATK Mohun Bagan are a notch above the rest of the participants. However, he now has changed his opinion and believes that just about any team in the league can make it into the top four given that this is a pandemic-affected season.

“Even [bottom placed] Odisha, East Bengal and Kerala (Blasters) – all the teams are very equal and it’s impossible to say who will be in the top four because it’s not a normal season. For example, after this game we have about seven days rest but five games in 15 (16) days after that. This is not an excuse but only to explain why it is impossible to say who will be in the top four,” he reckoned.


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