Manuel Marquez on Adil Khan’s absence: Adil is close to playing but our style is different

The Hyderabad coach also explained why Rohit Danu is not getting many minutes on the pitch…

Hyderabad FC are going through a rough patch of form as they head into their next match in the Indian Super League (ISL) against Chennaiyin on Monday evening in Goa. 

The Nizams have suffered three successive defeats to Mumbai City, Kerala Blasters and FC Goa respectively and have scored just one goal in these matches.

But coach Manuel Marquez feels that teams like Chennaiyin, Kerala Blasters and Hyderabad deserve to have more points than they have so far accumulated in the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) season.

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“They (Chennaiyin) are a very dangerous team with a lot of good players. I was very impressed with their performance in the first half against Goa. They are dangerous in set-pieces because they have very good players, [with] not only (tall players like) [Enes] Sipovic and Eli Sabia but players like [Jakub] Sylvestr, [Rahim] Ali, [Deepak] Tangri in the box. Anirudh Thapa is another good player for setpieces.

“I think that the coach (Csaba Laszlo) is very brave when they play their games. It’s another team like Kerala (Blasters), when we played against them. I think Chennaiyin and Hyderabad deserve more points than we have on the table,” said Marquez. 

FC Goa came back from behind to defeat Hyderabad with two late goals to take home the three points and the manager now feels that he needs to shake things up tactically to return to winning ways. 

“I think anyone would agree with me that we didn’t deserve to lose this game (against Goa) but these kinds of things happen in football. Sometimes, when you concede in the 87th minute, you have to finalise to end the game at 1-1 and not concede the second goal.

“In the other game at the moment we decided to bring Adil (Khan) to play with five center backs for the last five minutes, (but) they scored the equaliser. Sometimes it’s a bad decision. Now the question would be ‘why you put five defenders when they equalised’. Of course, we are working on different things tactically and maybe against Chennaiyin there will be some tactical changes.”

Adil Khan Hyderabad FC ISL 6

India international Adil Khan seems to have fallen down the pecking order and is yet to start a game in this edition of ISL. In fact, he has played just 27 minutes since returning from injury. 

“When you don’t put a player, it’s normal to feel that ‘you don’t like this player’. I spoke with Adil and I’m very happy with his attitude. His chance to play is very close but at this moment, the style of the team is very different. In all the teams of the world, when you receive three consecutive defeats, you always remember the players that are not playing. Adil for sure is a fantastic player and he deserves a chance to play.

“If you look at the statistics, we are a team who have allowed fewer chances for the opponents but we are conceding goals in the last four to five games. My team is defending well and now the strategy is to try and turn the situation. So let’s see what happens. It’s very difficult to know who will finish in the top four, except for Mumbai (City) for sure,” Marquez reasoned.

Rohit Danu is another player who has not been used frequently and the former Las Palmas coach believes that it will be risky to use the youngster when the team is trying to brush off a lean patch of form. 

“Rohit Danu is another player whom I like very much. He’s a player with a great future. He trains well but especially for players in attack you need for example more friendly games to improve some actions. I want him to play as soon as possible but maybe not the right moment after three defeats.”

But he praised the mentality of forward Aridane Santana as the Spaniard has already struck five goals this season and has been the only beacon of hope for a rather misfiring forward line. 

“He’s a guy who is very positive and with fantastic behaviour and attitude. I remember, when he missed a penalty against East Bengal, he scored two goals in the second half. He showed that, in football, you have to continue after you fail because football is about mistakes.

“You can say the same about Goa – 11 goals, eight of [Igor] Angulo, Mumbai with [Adam] le Fondre, ATK [Mohun Bagan] with [Roy] Krishna, Jamshedpur with [Nerijus] Valskis. When you have a top scorer, normally he is the guy who will score goals, but I agree that more players have to score goals. Also, we are the second team – the first Chennaiyin – with more shots in the ISL but unfortunately not on target,” Marquez observed. 

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