Vasco: Odisha FC will be up against NorthEast United FC in the 24th match of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season on Friday at the Tilak Maidan here in Goa.
The Bhubaneshwar-based side began their season strongly, winning two of their opening matches before falling short against Kerala Blasters FC in their last game.
On the other hand, NorthEast United FC is slowly gaining momentum after their first win of the season against FC Goa in their latest game after an underwhelming start to the season.
Odisha FC’s head coach Kiko Ramirez expressed the need to remain focused on the future matches and leave the lost matches behind. Giving opportunities to the youngsters is the central part of his plan.
“It is true that we won two matches but we lost the third. So, at this moment as a coach, instead of thinking about the last match, we are focusing on improving the mistakes of the last match,” Ramirez said while addressing the media ahead of the match.
“We’re very happy with our players, not only Isaac. All the players are training and performing well.
It’s because of that we use him in the matches and Nikhil (Raj) the other day goes into the match, his debut in Hero ISL and scores a goal but not only them all of the young players are performing well
and they are knocking the door to go inside the team,” he said.
“I’ve trained the Under-18 and 19, B team of other squads. I’m happy to give opportunities to the young players and we think that more such young players from the team will be participating in the ext matches,” Ramirez added.
On the other, NorthEast United FC head coach Khalid Jamil expects his team to ride on the momentum gathered and also keep on fighting when they take on Odisha FC.
The Highlanders logged their first three points with a 2-1 win over FC Goa in the previous game. They are now placed at the eighth spot with four points from as many matches.
“Everybody is confident (after the win over FC Goa). We must maintain this rhythm. We must fight. Talking about Odisha FC, they are a good side. They also played very good football and started very well this season. They are tough opponents, we have to be alert all the time. And this match is very important for us,” Jamil said.
“Talking about Odisha FC, as I said they are a good side, they play as a team. Defensively, they’re also strong attacking-wise they scored more goals. So we have to be alert, and talking about our team we must play our normal game. This game is very important for us,” NorthEast United FC head coach said.
“Talking about (Fredrico) Gallego, we missed him in all the matches we played, especially last game and in the coming matches he will not be there but we have the replacement for him. As he played defensively, Imran (Khan) is there, Gani (Nigam) is there, Mapuia (Lalkhawpuimawia), William (Lalnunfela), we will try any one from them to play this match,” he added.