BENGALURU: After a poor show last season, Hyderabad FC have started on a good note under their new coach Manuel Marquez. Considering they just won two matches in the last edition, their results (one win and one draw) have been satisfying with four points from two games so far. Besides, they have been solid at the back and are yet to concede a goal in the seventh edition so far. They will be eager to continue that positive record as they prepare to face Jamshedpur FC at Tilak Maidan on Wednesday.
If their defence has delivered the goods, the offensive side of things is yet to blossom, more importantly in the final third. Hyderabad have just one goal to show for their efforts in two matches, that too from a penalty. What is more worrying is the fact that they have not tested the opponent’s goalkeeper as they should have from their 30 plus shots on goal. They would need some quality display from their forwards, including key forward Aridane Santana.
Marquez believes that the team has to create more clear-cut chances against Jamshedpur. "We need to improve in defence. And also improve in the final part of the opponent's box. We have to create more clear chances. In two games we have one point and a single goal from the penalty. It is better to create these kinds of chances. But I would be worried if my team didn't create many chances or like these kinds of situations," said Marquez.
With quality foreign players including Joel Chianese and Lluis Sastre unavailable due to injuries, Hyderabad will need contributions from the Indian contingent. They just have six foreigners in their squad.
The problem for Marquez does not end there. He will need to find a way to stop the quality Jamshedpur forward, Nerijus Valskis, who was the golden boot winner last season. He has already started the tournament brightly with three goals. Given his recent form, the striker could prove to be a big headache for the Hyderabad defenders. After clean sheets against Odisha FC and Bengaluru FC, this clash against Jamshedpur, who are winless so far, especially the Lithuanian forward will prove to be a litmus test.
"Valskis is a very difficult player to deal with and has scored three in two matches. It has all been three different types of goals. First was a header, second was a penalty and third with his boot. He is a good striker. He goes to the wings and he's very difficult to mark. They have players like Jackichand Singh and others. For me, all of them are very dangerous as they arrive in the second line," said Marquez, who is not expecting an easy game against their Wednesday opponents.