The Juggernauts’ boss admitted that they were frustrated during the first half.

Odisha FC suffered yet another defeat this season against playoffs hopefuls NorthEast United. The home side scored three quickfire goals in the first 25 minutes, thanks to a brace from Luis Machado and a goal from Deshorn Brown. Meanwhile, for the visitors, Brad Inman scored once just before half time. There were no goals in the second half. The Juggernauts’ interim head coach Gerald Peyton spoke to the media after the game.

“I had a problem this morning. Cole Alexander woke up with a virus, but it’s not COVID-19. We’ve got a game against FC Goa coming up in two days’ time and I had to think about his replacement. Our midfield should have been stronger. I dropped Brad down (to midfield) for Diego Mauricio because I wanted him for the Goa game and then we’ve got Mumbai after that. I was thinking about the players’ energy and keeping them fresh. So, the formation in the first half was (wrong),” he said.

Frustrating Start

Odisha’s three defensive players were booked in the first half, which clearly explained their frustration. Gerald Peyton agreed as well, as he said, “I think they had so much of the ball, they were diving in and there were mistimed tackles.”

Half-time Talk

The Juggernauts were two goals behind and the former Arsenal coach was asked if there was any hair-dryer treatment at half-time, to which he answered, “I mentioned earlier that Brad had to come down to midfield and he has got good vision, a great touch. So, he was asked to start combining with others and look to go behind.

“He had to look to receive the ball and go behind, play a diagonal game. The players then did exactly what I wanted them to,” he further added.

Reason for Diego Mauricio’s absence from starting XI

Diego Mauricio was a notable absentee as a starter from the game and when questioned about his absence, Gerald Peyton quipped, “It was about rejuvenating, we’ve got the FC Goa game in two days’ time.

“(There were) two reasons for his absence. He’s is one of our best players and I wanted him to come off the bench, like in the match against Jamshedpur. He was going behind, he wanted to score and there was a penalty call as well. He was on the far post for the header. Maybe, on a good day, he scores two,” he signed off.

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