The tactician spoke to the media after an exhilarating encounter between the two sides.

Odisha FC coached by Stuart Baxter and Bengaluru FC shared the points in their Indian Super League 2020/21 fixture with a 1-1 draw. Both outfits played entertaining football, which resulted in a lot of chances at both ends. Diego Mauricio scored the opener for the Juggernauts, while Erik Paartalu equalized for the Blues late in the second half.

Mood after game

Odisha FC led for a long time and had many chances to put the game to bed before the opposition scored the equalizer. When asked about the feeling after the game, Stuart Baxter expressed, “Frustrated with many things. Frustrated with our inability to put the game to bed, with our inability to defend the full 90 minutes, with us making elementary mistakes. The team has to learn from it, that’s the next step in their development.” 

Word on inefficient finishing.

Odisha had plenty of clear goalscoring chances which they were not able to take. Speaking on the possible reasons behind poor finishing, Baxter said, “That pressure (of things going against them), plus the pressure of where we are. It’s not an easy situation that the front players are in when they are getting there. The pressure of defenders chasing, the pressure of taking their time and actually showing composure.”

Possibility of leaving defence vulnerable

The tactician was asked about whether starting all three attackers, namely Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Manuel Onwu and Diego Mauricio left the team weak at the back. Baxter responded, saying, “We could have won the game playing the way we did. I don’t think it weakened the defending in open play to the degree that I needed to change it.”

Closely fought games

When asked about whether teams are analyzing each other better than earlier, resulting in tighter contents, Baxter responded, “I think teams that opened well are flattening out. Every game I see, it’s almost the result could go either way. I think we saw again this evening, it could have been a win for us, a win for them or a draw. That’s how the league is going to be now.”

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