The Odisha interim coach has designated the games against Goa, Mumbai City and East Bengal as preparation for next season…
Odisha are bottom-placed with just nine points from 17 games and on Wednesday, they will face Goa who are vying for a spot in the playoffs.
The Juggernauts have not won a game since their 4-2 victory over Kerala Blasters on January 7 and faced a 3-1 defeat at the hands of NorthEast United in their last outing.
Ahead for their game against Goa, interim coach Gerald Peyton stated, “I’m going to stay with the facts – when you look at the second half against NorthEast, we had a higher percentage of passing and 81% passing accuracy, and Goa is a good passing team. I know their tactics, how they will play against us and we will play a certain way.
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“Since the start of the season, after 15 minutes [in every game], we seem to settle down and then start to get our game together. So it’s going to be important that we start straight from the off. If it’s on to pass, we pass. If it’s on to go behind, we go behind. It’s important that we play football,” he added.
He is encouraged by Odisha’s second-half display against the Highlanders and felt that they could have been in the game if not for the disallowed goal of Jerry Mawihmingthanga in the 84th minute.
“I looked through it (replay) three or four times now, [and] I can’t see why they disallowed Jerry’s goal. Jacob (Tratt)’s gone for the ball (after Brad Inman’s attempt ricocheted from the woodwork), Jerry chested it down and put it in the corner. So at 3-2, with 10 minutes to go, we’re (could have been) still in the game. So that sort of thing for me is very frustrating.
“I don’t want to blame anybody. I’m just saying, as a coach, at a crucial time in a match when we get the second goal and we put them in a situation where they start to panic, it goes to us to assert and put them under pressure. [But] it’s disappeared by a decision I can’t see why it has been given,” Peyton lamented.
The 64-year-old also said that his decision to rest Diego Mauricio against NorthEast United was to keep him fresh for the game against Goa.
“Last game, I rested Diego, thinking Diego can come on [in the] second half and I wanted him fresh for Goa. I want Diego to score us two or three goals against Goa. I know I’m asking for too much – I always ask for too much. And I want Brad and certain players fresh so that we have legs to do well against Goa.
“We are now preparing Odisha for next season. So what I said to the players is, ‘This is your challenge. If you want to be successful for the next season, you have to prepare now for next season. So everything you do now is in preparation to get off to a winning start next season. If you don’t prepare now and let this season go, you’ll be in that state of mind when you start next season. So it’s very important that you prepare now and these three games are very important’,” Peyton said.