We Have Shown Signs of Improvement in Every Game: Odisha FC Head Coach Stuart Baxter

Bhubaneswar: Ahead of the next game against North East United FC, Odisha Head Coach Stuart Baxter, in the pre-match press conference today, has asserted that the team has shown signs of improvement in each and every game that they have played in the season so far. The gaffer also mentioned that the players are working extremely hard and he hopes that the Kalinga Warriors can continue improving further in terms of better play.

“I thought the players, for a large part of the game, did very well, they showed clear signs of improvement and now we have to start turning a few of the sad stories into happy endings because at the end of the day, it’s the lack of focus and drift in concentration that results in our performance going down. This squad has got a lot of work to do and they are working really hard and they are making improvement. There’s a lot of room for improvement but the good news is if the referring decisions go our way, which I believe they should have gone, then even the performance that we gave could have resulted in three points,” the 67-year-old Head Coach explained.

“In every game that we have played, we have shown signs of improvement. In certain games, those signs have been far too few but I think in every game, there has been a period where we have been very competitive. I think the last game was a step in the right direction for a long period of the game. I think we were in quite a good control of the game. I hope that we can continue that improvement both in terms of better play and for longer periods,” he further added.

When asked about the dressing room environment of the team after consecutive defeats, he commented, “The mood in the dressing room is fantastic. The players know that the difference between what I called a horrendous start and a good start is very little. In this league, there have been yellow cards, red cards, and penalties given; inconsistency if I can say that. All the teams are fluctuating. There have been two, possibly three, they have been really consistent from start to now. So, those fluctuations, if you get away with it or you are punished. I have seen defenders making very bad mistakes and their team gets punished and they lose the game. A game in which otherwise they have been very strong in.”

“We have been the same a little bit. We have been the architect of our own downfall a couple of times, we have been at the wrong end of a couple of bad calls and a couple of times, just momentary lapses of concentration meant that the results have gone against us. We are working on that and as long as the lads are working on it with the fantastic attitude that they are showing then that’s what we can demand from them. I certainly think that there’s more to come from the team.”

Goalkeeper Arshdeep Singh was really brilliant in the last two games and although the team lost on both the occasion but Arsh’s performance has attracted a lot of praises. Odisha FC also have three other custodians in the squad which also includes experienced Kamaljit Singh.

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