Hyderabad FC would like to continue their unbeaten run when they take on SC East Bengal in an Indian Super League game Tilak Maidan in Vasco, Goa on Tuesday. (More football news)
After four games in the season, Hyderabad FC is one of only three teams that have not yet lost a game, no win and three draws. They will be eager to convert their efforts against the ISL debutants into a win.
SC East Bengal has not had the best start to the season. They haven’t scored yet, but they scored the first point on the table in a violent clash against Jamshedpur last Thursday.
They remain bottom of the table but could prove to be one of the biggest tests for Hyderabad this season.
« With every game East Bengal gets better. Their pairings have not been easy so far. Suspensions and late goals were the problem for them, but they played really good football, « said Hyderabad head coach Manolo Marquez on the eve of the clash.
« The draw they drew against a Jamshedpur physical team, despite playing with ten men for over 70 minutes, is proof of their quality and I expect this game to be a tough test for our team. «
Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler, who is also in his first season as a coach, did not have an ideal preseason with his squad due to the late entry into the ISL.
« We’re a team for fighters, » said Fowler. « Our mood is high anyway. We did well in four games that we played. Yes, we were unlucky sometimes. The players are getting fitter and we would see a better team in East Bengal now, « said Fowler.
But almost a month after the campaign started, SC East Bengal is getting used to the methods and is slowly gaining shape.
Matti Steinmann, Jacques Maghoma and Anthony Pilkington have developed a good understanding in midfield and attack, while Sehnaj Singh and Scott Neville can provide cover in the background.
The absence of Eugeneson Lyngdoh, banned because of the red card he received last round, could affect Fowler’s plans for the game.
Fowler, a mean striker in his prime, asked if he couldn’t open the gate and said, « We’re going out there to win the game. « . I cannot stress enough how difficult it was for us. Many decisions have been made against us. We need to be more confident than we did in the last game, « said Fowler.
Hyderabad FC, on the other hand, have only scored three points in their last three games, despite being unbeaten.
But the consistency of youngsters like Chinglensana Singh, Liston Colaco, Akash Mishra and Hitesh Sharma was a real asset to the team this season, although they were injured several times in the opening rounds.
« They (the missing players) are important players to us, but that’s why the squad has more than 11 players.
« This is a great opportunity for the young players in the squad to show their quality and prove they are ready for these games, » said Marquez.
While East Bengal and Odisha FC have conceded the most goals in ISL, Hyderabad have conceded the fewest goals next to leaders Mumbai City. But the statistics don’t matter when the two equal teams compete against each other at Vasco.
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