After two back-to-back convincing victories, Odisha FC fell short against Kerala Blasters FC, who defeated the Jugernauts 2-1. So far, the Odisha team has shown a lot more promise compared to last year, and they will hope to continue that momentum when they face Northeast United FC tomorrow.
Coach Kiko Ramirez, assistant coach Kino, as well as goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh, spoke to the media ahead of the game in the pre-match press conference.
Assessment of the season so far and targets for the next game
“The team won two matches and lost the third, so now we are focused on improving from the mistakes we made during the last match.”
Update on Jonathas
“He had a muscle issue so the medical team decided that it was not good for him to go into the squad. He is getting better and doing training but we need to wait until the medical team thinks he is good to join the team or not.”
“Many players are getting muscle injuries, not big ones, but playing three matches in such a small gap is difficult. It is not only about us but all the teams.”
On giving Isak Vanlalruatfela more chances
“We are very happy with the youngsters. Isak trained and worked hard so we used him in the match. Nikhil also debuted and scored a goal last game so it is not only Isak but all of them are performing well and knocking on the doors to get into the squad.”
On his coaching philosophy of giving youngsters opportunity
“Opportunity for youngsters will depend upon how they do in training and games and they will have a chance to play. I have managed many youth teams so I am happy giving opportunities to the young players and Odisha has a lot of good players who are doing great and we will give them a chance regardless of whether they are a youngster or not.”
Kino’s assessment of Northeast United
“They are a very strong team and they are physical and good in transitions and they defend in a very compact way as well. They can put us in trouble but we are well prepared for the situation. We have a lot of good players and Kiko has trained Camara as well so he knows him. We have a tough game ahead.”
Kino on bouncing back from the defeat
“We have been working on that for the whole week. We lost the last match but we are focused on the long term project that we have here in Odisha. We had chances to win the game but we could not. We played a good game as a team, and we are working hard in the same way. Defeats are a part of sport.”
Kamaljit on his start to the season
“We are looking towards the next game and we are focused. We know the league and how quickly it can change. We are focused and we are taking things step by step. We know how good Northeast are and we are taking things calmly and hoping for the best.”
Kamaljit’s experience under Kiko and Manu
“They are great coaches and they have a lot of experience. We are all very happy and we are doing pretty good at this moment and we hope to do the same on the pitch.”
Kamaljit on his goalkeeping idol
“I try to learn from all the goalkeepers and try to learn from their mistakes. Whichever goalkeeper is performing at the top level is my inspiration. I hope one day I get a chance to play abroad but right now I am focused here and trying to learn every day.”
Kamaljit on competition for the goalkeeping spot
“It is a very healthy competition. We are pushing each other to our limits everyday and we are improving. It is very good for me to have all of us together. All three are very good players and we are pushing everyone to give their best.”
Odisha FC faces Northeast United FC tomorrow at the Tilak Maidan Stadium.
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