Steven Taylor, who played a season with Odisha FC, recently shared his thoughts on his experience of playing in India, his time at Odisha FC and more. The video of the same where the former Newcastle United FC, Alan Shearer hosted the show was published on Indian Super League Instagram page.
Before joining Odisha FC for season 2020-21, Taylor was the captain of New Zealand’s Wellington Phoenix in the Australian A-League. He revealed how Baxter convinced him to join the Bhubaneswar based club.
“In the middle of October, Stuart Baxter who also coached Under-21 England’s team, typically said to me that he has got the opportunity to be the manager of Odisha FC. The coach also said that we are going to be in a bubble till the league runs and he would love me join Odisha as captain,” said Taylor.
Odisha FC finished last in the league with just 12 points after 20 matches, in which 2 won, 6 drawn and 12 lost. Sharing his thoughts on the performance of the team, Taylor said,
“We finished at the bottom of the table with very fewer points. It was difficult for all players to accept this. But as a captain, alongside the coach, I always told the players not to feel any pressure and enjoy the game.
“As a team, we always were better in the second half of matches. The best thing to mention is the young lads never gave up and they kept learning things,” he added.
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The Indian Super League was successfully held behind closed door in Goa due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A bio-bubble was maintained, were no team players or staff were allowed to meet fans or other personals freely.
“Not only Odisha, as you know all the teams were in bio-bubble. It was a long period because you can’t leave the hotel for 4 and half months. Leaving the hotel in the early morning and train before the heat and humidity rises were the only way here,” Taylor told.
Steven Taylor has plied his trade in various English clubs like Newcastle United, Wycombe Wanderers, Ipswich Town and Peterborough United. The 35-year-old, knowns how competitive the European leagues are and expressed his thoughts on Indian football.
“I think Indian Super League is a very exciting league. Indian football is growing due to ISL. In the next few years, India is going to have a fantastic group of young kids,” concluded Taylor.