The interim head coach of the Juggernauts admitted that it has been a difficult season for them.

Out-of-form Odisha FC are set to host playoffs hopefuls Kerala Blasters at Fatorda Stadium in Goa on Thursday. Ahead of the game, the juggernauts’ interim head coach Gerald Peyton spoke to the media.

Peyton began by sharing his thoughts on the season. “I think it is a difficult season for our players. Both Stuart (Baxter, former head coach) and I had started working on all the squad and we wanted to play and develop the team. I think we were in for most of the games, even in the last game when they got the penalty in the 82nd minute. We scored a good goal through Cole Alexander,” he said.

Poor refereeing

Odisha FC have suffered due to poor refereeing so far this season in the ISL. Infact, they are the only side not to be awarded a penalty this season. The Englishman seemed to be upset at the level of officiating in the last game, where he claimed they were denied a legitimate penalty.

“(Sandesh) Jhingan in the last game had a ball hit his arm and (referee decided to) carry on,” he said, before adding, “At crucial times, some of the decisions have gone against us.”

Kerala Blasters’ season

The Juggernauts have registered only one win this season, which came against the team from Kerala.

“I think they have got some good players. When I go back and look at how they played, tactically we know their style and can match them in every area. They play 4-4-2 and we will also probably play the same. We will give them a hard time and I believe we can do the double over them,” the former Arsenal goalkeeping coach commented.

Arshdeep & other goalkeepers

As already mentioned, Gerald Peyton has worked as a first-team goalkeeping coach at Arsenal. He was asked to give his opinions on Arshdeep and the rest of the goalkeepers in the league. “I think Arshdeep has been our most consistent Indian player. Maybe there were a few mistakes in the last game, but his overall performances until now has been very good,” the tactician commented.

He then went on to praise Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, saying, “I like the Bengaluru FC goalkeeper, as he is very good technically and a big goalkeeper. He likes to come for crosses and his distribution is good. I like everything about him and he is the best I’ve seen in India.

“Gurpreet stands out head and shoulders above his opponents and Arshdeep has looked good, as good as every other ‘keeper,” Peyton further added.

Team News

Gerald Peyton revealed that Manuel Onwu and Baoringdao Bodo will miss the game. Additionally, winger Daniel Lalhlimpuia also suffered a knock according to him. “With the resources we have, it will be a somewhat patchup for tomorrow (in midfield),” he said.

“We will keep fighting, although it is a demanding season and lots of things have happened. We will give everything we possibly can, 100%,” the Odisha FC interim head coach signed off with a message for the fans.