Stuart Baxter: Kerala Blasters win can be a catalyst to kickstart Odisha FC’s season

Odisha FC head coach Stuart Baxter believes his team will produce better performances after their first win in nine matches.

Odisha FC registered their first win of the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) season after a 4-2 win over Kerala Blasters at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim, Goa, on Thursday. 

An inspired performance from Diego Mauricio saw Stuart Baxter’s men script a comeback after going down to an early goal. 

Odisha FC head coach Stuart Baxter was a relieved man after their first win in nine games. He praised his charges for playing as a unit. He, however, mentioned that this was not the first instance when the Kalinga Warriors showed spark this season. 

« Very pleased. Very pleased with the players. We changed the way we are going to play. We had Jacob (Tratt) at right back. We had Gaurav Bora playing as a centre back. Giving away a goal and then coming back totally dominating in the next 75 minutes of the game, it was an awesome performance, » Stuart Baxter said after the game. 

« We have shown that potential in almost every game. In the beginning, it was sporadic, we made too many mistakes, all the way to the East Bengal game. We gave away too many goals which made the hill to heavy to climb, » he added. 

Steven Taylor, Kerala Blasters vs Odisha

Odisha FC pressed Kerala Blasters with purpose and Baxter said that it was a part of the game plan as they wanted to break the opponents’ game early and capitalise on their mistakes.

« It was part of the game plan. With only two centre-midfield players, we wanted to breakup their play earlier. We were going to commit Nandhakumar and Jerry (Mawihmingthanga). If we lost the ball, we had four payers ready to counter. We want to press the ball, » Baxter said. 

The British manager is confident that the win will be a catalyst for his team to improve their performances. He also pointed out that the squad is on a high and becoming better with time. Besides that, Baxter wants his players to give in their all in the remaining matches. 

« I certainly hope so. We started the season with defeats. I have never seen that glum feeling. I am hoping this is a bit of catalyst to go on a better run. The squad has been on a positive spiral we are becoming better and better. I think it’s getting better. I was really really upset after giving away two goals against East Bengal, » he said.  

« The minimum for me is that every player gives everything he has got in every situation. And the end of the season I want to see if they end on fourth place or 10th place or whatever, » he added.  



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