The Juggernauts’ interim coach provided an update on the injuries to some of their key players.

Odisha FC travel to Tilak Maidan to take on playoffs hopefuls NorthEast United in their 17th game of the Indian Super League season. The Juggernauts are out of the top four race and will be playing for pride. Moreover, they would be hoping to not achieve a wooden spoon by coming last this season. Interim head coach Gerald Peyton spoke to the media before the game and had words of praise for Khalid Jamil.

“Ever since he came in, he has done a very good job. They have got good results; good run of games. Yes, we know it will be a difficult game,” he said.

Nothing to lose

Odisha FC have nothing to lose in their last four games as they are out of the playoffs. When asked if they will perform better in absence of pressure, Gerald Peyton replied, “Let’s just talk about the Blasters game. It gave us confidence to go on now. Because in that game, from start to finish, okay there were periods in the game where they had the ball and had good attacks, but what pleased me was we kept going.

“They overloaded one side and we dealt with it. They tried to come down the middle, we dealt with it. Then they tried to come down the other side, we dealt with it. The way we played, some of our combinations were top draw,” he further commented.

Team News

Further, the Juggernauts’ boss gave an update on the fitness concerns of certain players in the team. “I’m still waiting for Paul (Ramfangzauva) to get back fit, Manu (Onwu) comes back, (Baoringdao) Bodo comes in. All in all, we have five players fresh for the game because we have got (FC) Goa in three days’ time. So, keeping people fresh is on my mind as well.”

Thoughts on league

The former Arsenal goalkeeping coach gave his thoughts on the league, saying, “The league, as a package, is very good. The players that are brought in – the foreign players, are very good. But, what really impressed me is the Indian players at top clubs like Mumbai, ATK Mohun Bagan, Chennai.

“The Indian players are starting to improve on the ball, vision, passing, keeping the ball, attacking skills, dribbling skills. I think how it is developed now, is going to be successful over 5-10 years. It is going to be very successful,” he quipped.

Challenge against NorthEast

Odisha FC played a 2-2 draw against NorthEast United in the last encounter. When asked if the team can register a win this time, Gerald Peyton answered, “We are going to go there and make things difficult for them because we have nothing to lose.

“We’ve got momentum from the Blasters game. We scored two fantastic goals, we have got belief and some of our combination play was very good. We’ve got Goa in three days and the objective is to play fresh players.”

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