The tactician saw his team lose the sixth game of the season and remain winless in the league.

Odisha FC lost yet another Indian Super League game in the 2020-21 edition, as they went down 3-1 to a confident SC East Bengal. Stuart Baxter could not motivate his players to register the first win of the term and is definitely feeling the pressure now.

Speaking after the game during the post-match interaction, the tactician admitted that he would prefer not to bring in any more players and like to give more game-time to the young Indians. 

Underestimating the opposition?

Before the game, Baxter pointed out the similarities between both Odisha and East Bengal. Upon being asked if he underestimated the opposition, he responded by saying, “No, not at all. We let in two goals, that were from our point of view, very poor goals which got them in front. The game changes and then we have to change the game, but in no way is it to say that we underestimated them.”

WATCH: Stuart Baxter’s post-match press conference

Climbing the table

Odisha are now the only team in the ISL, yet to win their first game of the term. The coach spoke about what needs to be done to climb the table. He opined, “You have got to make sure that the players are doing the things that will help us to win football games. Set-plays are very important. That long throw was a set-play, we had many set plays, we hit the crossbar from a set-play, the ball was bouncing around in the goal, but we couldn’t put it over the line.”

“So, we got to be ticking those boxes again and get the percentages back on our side. You got to continue to believe and continue to do the right things.” the 67-year-old further added.

Mid-table finish the best?

The Juggernauts are languishing at bottom place in the standings, with only two points and the realistic target for the outfit could be a mid-table finish by the season end. In this context, Baxter expressed, “I think after the start that we’ve had, you should not be looking too far in front. You should be thinking when can we get those first three points and how can we build on that. I think if you give us a mid-table finish there will be a lot of people at the football club that will take it now.”

January transfer business

Stuart Baxter has had to rely heavily on the foreign players for any quality going forward. When asked if the club will look to add more firepower in the transfer market, he seemed against the idea. He said, “Well, the transfer market means budget, transfer market means availability, transfer market means in this bubble, quarantine and stuff like that. So, if we were going to do that, we should have done it by now. Rushing out now and panicking, I’d prefer for the club to know the situation we have and do the best we can with that situation.

“We have some talented young Indian boys that I would like to give a game to, but I don’t want to throw them into a team that is scraping around for a result. I don’t think bringing in 3-4 players is the (solution) in any shape or form,” Stuart Baxter concluded.  

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