The tactician spoke about the need for improvement ahead of the reverse fixture against the Marina Machans.

Odisha FC will face Chennaiyin FC again on Wednesday, after drawing their recent Indian Super League game. The two sides met on Sunday and played out a goalless stalemate. The tie was closely contested without a winning side or goal. Stuart Baxter will hope that his side can improve on their performance and secure their second victory of the season.

The tactician touched upon several important points and answered many questions in the pre-match media interaction.

Prospect of playing the same opposition

The coach shed light on the idea of playing Chennaiyin FC again in a span of three days. He said, “You can look at it in both ways. Whatever it is, it is for both teams. If it’s a positive, they have got just as much positives as we have. It’s going to be difficult for both teams, because of the closeness in terms of refreshing and in the actual running out against the same team you just played a 0-0 draw with. 

Possible changes in second half of league

The tactician was asked about the possible changes one can observe in the club’s approach, to which he responded by saying, “We have not been satisfied with all the performances. But, the only way to improve those performances is by working hard in training and making sure we do more things that will get the right results.

“You don’t just get that by shuffling the pack, playing some sort of lottery with the players. Finding some consistency, finding some identity, is probably the best way we can go to stabilizing our results,” he further added. 

Missing experienced Indian players

Stuart Baxter was quizzed if the team is missing the presence of experienced domestic players and whether the club will look to bring in anyone during the transfer window. He expressed, “We decided at the beginning of the season that we will prioritize youth, the development and that has obvious pitfalls. Going with experienced players, that has obvious pitfalls as well.”

“We are not going to throw our policy under the bus, but if there are players that become available that we think can help the squad, help the young players develop, then I am sure the club will be interested in them. But, certainly it’s not going to be a massive change,” the 67-year-old further opined. 

A word on Arshdeep Singh and Gaurav Bora

The Englishman also presented his views on the recent performances of two Indian players in particular, Arshdeep Singh and Gaurav Bora. “I am not sure if Arshdeep had a stellar performance in the last game. Gaurav Bora, I wouldn’t say he came of age, but it was the most mature performance we have seen from him. Arshdeep is playing well at the moment. He is the one that has grabbed hold of the goalkeeping shirt.”

Team’s motivation

Lastly, Stuart Baxter was asked if the squad is more motivated after recent performances. Speaking in this context, he said, “If I look at the ATKMB performance, against one of the strongest teams in the country, we could have easily won that game. Just because we got a win and a shutout, I don’t see those performances being a huge step forward. I think it has been a gradual process.”

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