The Odisha FC tactician commented that it is not yet the right time to think about playoffs chances
Odisha FC and Hyderabad FC played a 1-1 draw in their latest Indian Super League 2020/21 clash. The outfits dominated each half and were evenly matched in terms of overall performance. While Holicharan Narzary gave HFC the lead in the first half, Cole Alexander scored the leveler for OFC in the second. Stuart Baxter is already under immense pressure at the club and another chance of securing a victory has gone begging.
Baxter spoke during the post-match interaction with the media and had mixed emotions. He believed they could have won the game and added his comments on other topics too.
Not giving up
The head coach addressed the way his team came back into the match. Speaking about the game’s analysis, Stuart Baxter said, “I thought we started the game very well. We sat out to press high and I think we disturbed them. In the second half, they didn’t have the joy they had in the first. Our attacking play then was very good. I am impressed by the way, especially the younger lads, they don’t fold.”
Possibility of winning
Odisha FC came out the stronger team by the final whistle and had many chances to secure a win. Talking about the possibility of winning the game, the Englishman said, “I think we could have easily won the game. It was really a big ask against what I call one of the best teams in the league. I asked the players for 10% more and they gave it. We could have and maybe even should have won the game.”
The chance of a playoffs finish
Even though the Juggernauts languish at the bottom of the league table, a playoffs finish is not mathematically impossible. Speaking on the outside chance of making the playoffs places, the tactician said, “If we start thinking about the playoffs, someone will take me to the lunatic asylum. We have such a long way to go and that would be right because if I start thinking about the playoffs based on where we are, then I am going to do the players a great disservice.
“We need to look at the next game and play better than we did tonight. Also, we need to win a couple of games and then at the end of the season if we are anywhere within reach of it, we can make a strike for it.” the 67-year-old went on to add.
Rakesh Pradhan’s debut
In his concluding remarks, Baxter also praised newcomer Rakesh Pradhan on his debut outing for Odisha. He said, “He started a little nervously. I thought his left foot was great in the second half as a weapon for us, we wanted him higher up the field. I think he could be pleased (with his performance).”