FC Goa head coach Manolo Marquez wants to look forward to the upcoming matches after his team secured a convincing 2-0 win over Hyderabad FC in Matchweek 13 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 at the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium in Hyderabad on Thursday.
The Gaurs opened the scoring early in the game, with Carlos Martinez heading home a cross from Brandon Fernandes just seven minutes into the fixture. The Spanish forward completed his first-half brace in the 30th minute with a cheeky touch to convert Jay Gupta’s cross into a goal. This eventually concluded the match 2-0, with FC Goa maintaining their unbeaten start to the season after 11 games and climbing to the league leader’s position.
The head coach was full of praise for Ayush Dev Chhetri, who was handed his first ISL start this season, and also for forward Martinez, whose brace secured all three points.
“I’m very happy with Ayush(Dev Chhetri). I think that he deserved his first game as a starter. (He) is 20 years old, but last season he played a lot of games. This season the club signed better players in that position. We have a few players like Paolo (Retre), Raynier (Fernandes), Rowllin Borges (who can play in that position), but Ayush is always training very well, (has) a lot of quality and he deserves this chance and I’m very happy for him,” stated Marquez in the post-match press conference.
“And Carlos (Martinez), I think that I don’t need to say anything about him,” he added.
The Spanish tactician acknowledges the importance of every game as he looks forward to the upcoming matches. He also emphasizes how every point is crucial for them.“Every game is a challenge (for us). We are indeed unbeaten, but it’s also true that in some games we could’ve lost. In some games that we won, we could’ve drawn, but in some games that we drew, we could’ve won.”
The Gaurs travel to Odisha next for another tough game. Acknowledging the strength of the Kalinga Warriors, the 55-year-old expects a tough fight.
“And I think that we have a competitive team. And I think we will remain there (in the hunt) till the end of the season. However, facing the top five teams in the table will pose a tough challenge.” Marquez concluded.