The Spanish stated that he is proud of the Hyderabad team even if they don’t qualify for the play-offs…
Hyderabad dropped crucial points in the race for a play-offs spot and they are now two points behind FC Goa before heading into their final match of the season against the Gaurs.
The Nizams managed to get a point against ATK Mohun Bagan on Monday despite going down to 10 men in the fifth minute of the match when Chinglensana Singh picked up a red card. Hyderabad could have also bagged three points had goalkeeper Laxminkant Kattimani did not spill Jayesh Rane’s cross inside the box from which Pritam Kotal scored the late equaliser.
Coach Manuel Marquez heaped praise on his players but expressed that he was disappointed a bit as they were very close to getting the win.
“It is impossible to be more proud of these players. Of course, they are sad now because the win was very close but the last action from the corner, I don’t mind if it was an offside or not. They equalised in the end. I am very proud of the team and let’s see if we can win against FC Goa in the next game,” said Marquez.
The Spanish coach also explained why it was tougher for ATK Mohun Bagan to play against his team who had less number of players for the majority of the game.
“When you play with one player less it is more difficult for the opponent because when you play with all the players behind the ball it is not easy for the opponent. It is the same if we are playing with 11 players against 10. But the problem was there was too much time. It was very difficult against this team. For me, the challenge that my team threw today was very good,” opined the Hyderabad manager.
The Spaniard is still hopeful of making it to the play-offs and he wants his team to be in a positive frame of mind before heading into the final matchday against Goa.
“The red card was clear. But I also thought Tiri should also have got a yellow card one minute before the red card. Now we have to be positive, we have one point more than what we had before the game. We wanted the three points but in the last game, we still have a chance of making it to the play-offs. Let’s see what happens.”
Hyderabad will miss key players like Chinglensana Singh and Aridane Santana in their last game due to suspensions but Marquez isn’t perturbed with the situation.
“We had more difficult moments in the first phase of the league. We played against NorthEast United without most foreign players. Only Joao (Victor) and Odei (Onaindia) were available. We drew against NorthEast United with so many big players missing. This team never gives up. I have said this before that if the team qualifies for the play-offs then fantastic but if they don’t then congratulations to the other teams but I will be very proud of these players. But we will try to qualify next Sunday,” said the former Las Palmas coach.