Manuel Marquez comes into a Hyderabad FC side that is currently lacking in confidence. Following a bottom-of-the-table finish last season, it was clear that the club needed to do something different this season if they wanted to improve their performances.
On the back of his 32-year experience as a coach, this is Roca's first assignment in the Indian Super League. With the likes of Fran Sandaza and Aridane Santana in the team, it remains to be seen what the 52-year-old can achieve this season.
Manuel Marquez spoke in an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda.
Q. You have been a manager for around 18 years now. What is your coaching philosophy?
Manuel Marquez : This is my 32nd year as a coach. I have trained in all categories - from children to the top level. You have to adapt to different moments because every year is different. In the academy, the score is not important. In professional football, the most important thing is to win but you can do it in different ways. I like to play offensive football but sometimes it depends on the players that you have.
Q. This season, many of the players that have come into the squad have been players that you know personally. What do you look for in a player when you bring him to a club you are coaching?
Manuel Marquez : Sorry, but this is not true. I have faced some of them like Aridane Santana or Fran Sandaza, but they were never my players. As a coach, when you sign a player, you see if he can adapt as soon as possible to the new country, with their teammates, and of course, you look if that they are important players in the team.
Q. The coaching assignment with Hyderabad FC will be your first stint in India. What made you take up this coaching role with the club?
Manuel Marquez : I love football, I love to train and the chance to coach Hyderabad came. I was informed about the club and I liked the project. They started last season, and they need time. I like these kinds of challenges. We have a very good team for the future. But we'll try this season, we get to play good football and to give opportunities to young players. India has a good future because football is growing quickly in the country.
Q. If you had to pick two or three players who would be the key for a good performance this season, who would they be?
Manuel Marquez : I don't like to choose two or three names. We're in a collective sport and I know that there are players who are more decisive than others. But the most important thing for a coach is to be fair to everyone and that is very difficult. This is one of the reasons that I prefer not to single out any player because I think that the entire squad has to feel that they are an important part of the club.
Q. Two things you enjoy outside of football which are your guilty pleasures?
Manuel Marquez : I am a normal person. My daughter plays basketball, and I like watching her games. I like to be with family, with my friends (my group of friends from school), the cinema, and other sports.