Stuart Baxter reckons Odisha FC has been a difficult project


Odisha FC in search of their first win put forth their everything on line just to see both the sides share spoils. Diego Mauricio scored a spectacular 25 yards away from goal and to add up to the tally, Cole Alexander released a curvy shot which ended up at the back of the net of Odisha FC.

Baxter said,

“Yes, we were looking to score more goals. I watched the footage afterwards, the players were pretty certain there was at least one penalty that we should have got. And I think our attacking was a bit better, the players up front got on the ball more quickly and we had more control. So, yeah, I think I’ll have to say there was improvement in our attacking play.”

Stuart Baxter, on Cole and his goal,

“Cole’s performance, in general, was great. I think he’s an infectious player, the boys love him, at times he’s a one man pressing unit and he can get from box-to-box very quickly, so, it was no surprise to me that he sized up the defender and put it into the bottom corner. So, he’s just a good player, Cole Alexander, and he’s a great acquisition to Indian Football.”

Stuart Baxter, on the result acquired tonight, said,

“I’m not satisfied with the result. I think we’ve been close to picking up three points in more than one of the games that we’ve played. We’ve just not had that happy ending, it’s always been a sob story. So, I’m not happy with the result but I’m happy with the improvements we’ve been making in every game we’ve played so far.

“We’ve not had any real difficulties (in set plays), it’s that all the teams we’ve played are good in set-plays, and today we had, I’m not sure why, I’ll check the footage but we’ve been good at defending set-plays. There were quite a few half chances, too many for my liking, and even stopping the balls coming up from the flanks were causing problems, for example the first goal. So, that’s something we’ll be looking at very carefully.”

Baxter continued,

“I’m very pleased with the characters that the players have been showing. They young players of the squad have been competitive in every game. In general, even if I’m not very happy with the result, I’m very happy with the way the young players have been kept going. I think it’s a step in the right direction as we’ve put up a close contest against a team that’s on the top four. And if the players continue to show the same character, then it’ll keep improving.”

Baxter on taking up the role of a head coach in Odisha FC,

Nelson Mandela said to me when I was in South Africa that everything seems impossible until we do it. So, I think you look at projects before thinking it is a difficult one. I’m not sure if I can rank this but it’s been very difficult. Given the pandemic, given the lack of preparation time, given the very young squad, given the conditions that we’ve been playing under, I would say this is a very difficult job. But the attitude shown by the players keeps me going, that’s what makes me want to put my boots on and get back on the training field”, Stuart Baxter signed off.

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