‘Nothing to lose’ – Odisha’s Gerry Peyton upbeat ahead of NorthEast United tie

The Odisha interim coach believes that Indian football will reap the benefits of the ISL in 5-10 years…

Odisha may be languishing at the bottom of the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) table but interim head coach Gerald Peyton has stated that his players are enthused with newfound confidence after the Kerala Blasters game.

The Kalinga Warriors rode on a Diego Mauricio brace to hold the Blasters to a 2-2 draw on Thursday and are set to face NorthEast United on Sunday. Peyton also praised the impact by January signing Brad Inman has had after coming in from ATK Mohun Bagan.

“I was really pleased for Brad Inman to come in and do things that were needed – playing in little pockets, changing the play at the right time, playing on the diagonal – it gave me a lot of good things. We set up as well to play from the back and we had some good play at the back when we were put under pressure,” said the Englishman.

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“They (Kerala) overloaded one side, we dealt with it. Then they tried to come from the middle, we dealt with it. The way we played against Blasters, some of our combination play was top drawer,” he added.

It was a similar result in the reverse fixture against NorthEast United where both teams were locked in a 2-2 draw. The goalkeeper-turned-coach feels that Highlanders interim coach Khalid Jamil has since done a good job at the club (W3, D2).

“Since he (Jamil) has come in as the new manager, I think he’s done a great job. They’ve had good results and a good run of games. We know that it’s going to be a very difficult game,” Peyton continued.

Diego Mauricio, Odisha FC vs Kerala Blasters

“We’re going to go there to make it difficult for them because we got nothing to lose, momentum from the Blasters game to go on. We got belief [as] we scored two fantastic goals against the Blasters. Some of our combination play was very good and we’re going there in a very positive mind, with Goa in three days. So the objective is to play fresh players and go there with the confidence and momentum to win the game.”

When queried about the ISL and Indian football at large, he envisages success in the next 5-10 years. Peyton is impressed by the quality of Indian players, especially at the top clubs.

“I think how the [Indian] Super League has packaged the game is good. Everybody has good foreign players in the league but what’s really impressed me is the Indian players, especially at the top clubs. Now the Indian players are starting to improve on the ball, vision, passing, keeping the ball, attacking and dribbling skills. How it’s been developed now, I think it’s going to be successful over the next 5-10 years for Indian players,” Peyton mooted.


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