Odisha FC’s interim head coach Kino Garcia stressed on the importance of making use of Mumbai City FC’s drawbacks when the two sides face each other in their Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 match at the PJN Stadium in Margao, Goa on Sunday.
Following a 2-1 win over SC East Bengal, Odisha FC are currently at the seventh spot in the league table, with 21 points from 15 matches, which includes six wins and three draws. A victory in the upcoming match will push them into the top four and enhance their chances of qualifying for the semi-finals.
Garcia addressed the pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s game against Mumbai City FC.
Here are the excerpts from the press conference:
You have been in charge of the team for quite a few matches. Do you think that the players are taking more than normal time to adapt to your style of play?
Kino: We tried, but the thing is that we didn’t have a proper pre-season and we are having matches after matches. So we are trying to bring our ideas to the table, to try that the players understand what we want and to try to work with them week by week. But we know how much time there is in between matches. As you know, we have a match tomorrow and then in 48 hours, we again have a match. You cannot train as much as you want, but the players are really helping us and they are trying to do whatever we tell them. We are working hard to bring ideas to the team and we are happy about how they are performing.
What are the threats Mumbai City FC can possess tomorrow as a team, against your side?
Kino: Of course, there are a lot of threats. When we think about Jahouh and how they build the game, they are players who can play with speed in the side. We know (Igor) Angulo, (Diego) Mauricio as a striker. So they have a lot of quality in the team. They can control the game and we have to be really focused. We need to be ready to defend, run when we need to run and win the ball back, and after that do whatever we can do. And of course, we know how to do it, we have quality, we have really good players. We can have possession with the ball like Mumbai and try to exploit their weaknesses.
Your take on Gaurav Bora’s performance, as he has stepped up in Hector Rodas’ absence and has an excellent partnership with Hector Mongil?
Kino: I think it’s good. It’s good news for the team, for the ISL that young Indian centre backs like Bora are performing well at a high level in top matches where you have to play against Hyderabad and other top teams. Bora performed well, he needs to learn, but he’s paying attention. We have video sessions and all the things he’s trying to improve and also he’s also combining good with Hector (Rodas), Victor (Mongil).
So I think that the Bora is performing well. We knew about his capabilities and skill. They need to have trust and confidence on the pitch. And I think he’s performing well. He needs to correct some things. Of course, he needs to improve, still needs to learn, but we are happy about his performance.
Odisha FC midfielder Javi Hernandez also attended the press conference and addressed the questions put forward by the media.
Here are excerpts from the press conference:
You have been performing well this season for Odisha FC. What is the motivation behind your performance?
Feeling good here, everyone is trying to help me, so I’m feeling good this season and I think I’m playing in my best position. So I will try to keep it up until the end of the season.
You have been combining pretty well with Jonathas de Jesus, what is your take on the partnership?
So with this kind of player, the thing becomes easy because he’s a really good player and it’s easy to combine with him. Because he knows, he played at the top level. So I think he will help us a lot in these last games.
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