ISL 2020-21 news, Hyderabad FC preview: Coach Marquez to focus on a rebuild

ISL 2020: For a team that scored just 21 goals last season, Hyderabad FC’s first objective is to not just shore up its defence, but also to score goals to put pressure on rivals.

Hyderabad FC

Hyderabad FC will look to bounce back in ISL 2020-21 after a poor campaign last year that saw the side finish at the bottom of the table.   -  Twitter @HydFCOfficial

Stung by the reversals in its debut season last year that saw it finish at the bottom of the table with 10 points from 18 matches, winning just two and losing 12, Hyderabad FC has initiated many moves aimed at all-round improvement with an emphasis on the youth, hoping they will blend with experience players in the 2020-21 season.

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With new head coach Manuel ‘Manolo’ Marquez replacing Albert Roca and the signing up young talent and a couple of seasoned foreign campaigners, Hyderabad could be a different proposition to handle this season, backed by full-fledged preparations.

Hyderabad FC will begin its ISL campaign against Odisha FC on November 23.   -  TWITTER/ HYDERABAD FC


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“Yes, there are a lot of things we need to work on ahead of the new season. Getting players back to full fitness, training as a group and improving the confidence of everyone involved will be really important,” Marquez said in an interview with Sportstar.


Poor finishing was Hyderabad’s bane last season. There was always an early flourish up front, but a lack of coordination proved costly for the team. An overdependence on a couple of foreign players was another weak link.

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For a team that scored just 21 goals last season, Hyderabad’s first objective is to not just shore up its defence, but also to score goals to put pressure on rivals.


Marquez says getting his players to a competitive level required for the league will be the biggest challenge. And there is hope of a new brand of football with the new coach emphasising the need for players to trust their abilities.

Manolo Marquez

Manolo Marquez will look to revive Hyderabad FC's fortunes after the side finished at the bottom of the table last season.   -  Special Arrangement


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The focus will be on rebuilding a team that was in shambles at the end of the 2019-20 season and saw two head coaches in Phil Brown and Roca make way for Marquez.

Foreign contingent

Interestingly, Hyderabad has tied up with Marbella FC of Spain to explore opportunities to help the team on technical expertise through the latter’s facilities. The side has signed young talents such as goalkeeper Manas Dubey, Ishan Dey, Akash Mishra, Rohit Danu and Lalbiakhlua ‘Biaka’ Jongte.

Coming to its foreign signings, the club will pin its hopes on Odei Onaindia, the 30-year-old Spanish centre-back who is expected to provide the midfielders relief and freedom to control the pace of the game.

Odei Onaindia

Spanish centre-back Odei Onaindia is among Hyderabad FC's top foreign signings this season.   -  Twitter @HyderabadFCOfficial


Midfielder Jose Victor, who played against the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for RCD Mallorca, is also another key addition.

Best new signing

Fran Sandaza is considered the most travelled player in the squad and has the ability to score goals under pressure. One of the most trusted of the foreign recruits is striker Aridane Santane, who scored nine goals for Odisha FC last season. But experienced attacker Joel Chianese, with his ability to slot into any position in the attack, is also a fine acquisition.

A versatile attacker, Chianese adds a spark to the Hyderabad attack. He was a crucial figure for Perth Glory in the A-League for the past four years and delivered over 14 goals in 87 appearances.

Best possible formation

There were hints of experimentation in the pre-season with no rigid plan with regard to formation. The team’s think tank feels it will respond to the needs of the day and depending on the opposition, with the options narrowing down to 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-2.

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