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Clifford Miranda: This bunch of players is one of the best with whom I have worked with

Published at :April 24, 2023 at 11:38 PM
Modified at :April 24, 2023 at 11:38 PM
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Souvari Paul

The coach expressed his thoughts ahead of the Hero Super Cup final.

Odisha FC meet Bengaluru FC in the final of the Hero Super Cup on 25th April 2023. The side has played some good football throughout the competition to reach the finals, overcoming challenges from Hyderabad FC, East Bengal, and NorthEast United FC. In the final, the side will take on Bengaluru FC, who are in the third final of their current season.

A day prior to the game, Odisha FC coach Clifford Miranda and player Victor Rodriguez attended the pre-match press conference. Excerpts from the conference are as follows.

Mastering the art if of the comeback

The interim coach of Odisha FC Clifford Miranda talked about his side's mentality of winning games despite going behind. He talked about the spirit of the team and how the current group of players have developed this habit of winning games by making comebacks right from the days of the ISL.

"It is not just in the Super Cup, we have been earning comeback wins since the time we were playing in the ISL. These players have been playing together for some time now. We have some very good young players and some very good foreigners. Our work keeps us together.

"This bunch of players is one of the best with whom I have worked in terms of their quality, spirit, and staying together - inclusive of everyone. This is the key for a team to keep going and improving every day. This togetherness and urge to win matches and do something together has got this team to play in the manner in which it plays."

On Odisha FC successfully reaching the finals

Clifford Miranda talked about Odisha's journey of reaching the finals by overcoming every hurdle. He said, "When we came here and when the groups were drawn, some of the teams that looked stronger than us were Hyderabad FC and NorthEast United. They are not easy opponents. Aizawl FC also played well. Looking back, we proved to be the best team in our group in the group stage. It is a factor that we achieve the top position in our group. We did not play poorly just because one coach is gone and a new coach has been brought in."

The tactician continued, "It is never easy to play in this heat. Despite having a new coach and many other problems, we took one game at a time. We got results taking this approach and finally, we are here to play against Bengaluru. In the final, we have to enjoy ourselves, we have to work hard, and then we will see what happens."

Advice from Clifford Miranda's playing days

The coach, on being asked what advice he has shared with his players from his playing days, stated that old playing days advice can help only in a limited manner. The actual work needs to be done by the players on the pitch.

"These are the aspects using which we can only help them so much. It is the players on the pitch who decide the fate of a game. I will want the players to end the match within 90 minutes and not go for 120 minutes."

Why ISL clubs do not appoint Indian coaches?

The former India international gave his understanding of why ISL clubs are not appointing Indian coaches. He stated, "To answer this question, we have to look back and ask the question, 'Why aren't there enough Indian coaches in the ISL?', 'Why are ISL teams hesitant in appointing Indian coaches as head coaches?'. The answer lies in the fact that we think of us Indians as incompetent in all respects and not being able to convince the owners that we can handle the team."

The coach added, "We also have a belief that anything that is foreign is good. But it is also true that we are not giving enough labour to convince the owners that we are doing a good job. Unless you keep working hard two times more, people will not have faith in Indian coaches."

Victor Rodriguez on the importance of the game

Victor Rodriguez talked about the importance of the final game. He said, "It is important for us, we are here enjoying the moment of playing together. We know we have a big match tomorrow. Hopefully, we will win and continue our experience with Odisha. I think this game is very important. But as our coach says, it is just one game."

Victor on playing with Nandha and Diego

Rodriguez expressed his opinion on playing with the likes of Nandhakumar Sekar and Diego Mauricio. He said, "It becomes easy when you play with great players. I am so happy to play with Diego, Nandha, and Pedro. For us, the most important aspect is the team. We are working together to win the final and enjoy this moment. I am so happy to be here and we will beat Bengaluru in the final and win the competition."