Hyderabad, SC East Bengal Square off in Vasco

24 Jan, 2022 09:56 IST|Sakshi Post

Manolo’s men look to reduce gap at top of the league table

Goa: After almost a fortnight, Manolo Marquez’s Hyderabad FC are finally back in action in the Indian Super League when they travel to Vasco to take on SC East Bengal in yet another testing league clash this Monday.

The Red and Gold Bridge are fresh from their first win of the season, having beaten FC Goa in the last game. They have now lost just one of their last five games and are slowly on the ascend. Mario Rivera, the new Head Coach for the club will have his plans set for this game and could trouble Hyderabad FC, believes Manolo Marquez.

“SC East Bengal are a competitive team and have been unlucky to lose a few games this season. They have new players, and now seem to play with a lot of order and discipline,” said Manolo.

The previous meeting between the two sides earlier in the season ended in a 1-1 draw and Manolo believes that his side needs to improve to take all three points this time around. “We did equalize early after Amir Dermisevic’s goal in that game but they played really well, stayed compact till the end (to secure a point). We need to change a few things to get a better result in this game,” added the HFC Head Coach.

Antonio Perosevic, who missed the earlier game with suspension, is back in contention for East Bengal. The likes of Naorem Mahesh Singh, Darren Sidoel and Franjo Prce have also been in fine form in the last few games and will pose a constant threat to the Hyderabad side in this game.

But Manolo has Bartholomew Ogbeche, the leading goal scorer in the league, back in action after serving his suspension in the last game against Chennaiyin FC. The likes of Javi Siverio, Nikhil Poojary and Aniket Jadhav have also been effective in attack, while the backline protected by Joao Victor has been the real strength for HFC so far this season.

With 21 goals scored and 11 conceded, Hyderabad have the second best attack and the second best defense in the league and will look to build on this to get a positive result from this game.

Hyderabad FC had their previous game against Jamshedpur FC postponed due to COVID issues in the rival camp, and this in-turn has seen them get a 10-day break before this game. But Manolo Marquez believes that the break can work in both ways.

“I do not agree that the break has given the players a rest. With all the restrictions in the hotel and for training, it is hard for the players to stay mentally fit. But it does help to have a break after a series of games with less gap in between. So, we have to make sure that we are ready for this game which is most important,” said the Spaniard.

Hyderabad also have a chance to move back to the top of the league table if the results go their way but there is a long way to go in the league believes Manolo.

“We have always been in the fight for the top-4 but with the game postponed I don’t think the league table is real at the moment. We have to give our best and do what we can to stay at the top,” added Manolo.

The game kicks off at 7:30 pm on Monday and will be telecasted live on the Star Sports Network with live streaming on Disney+ Hotstar and JioTV.

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