Vinit Rai: We’re playing good football and good things will come

Odisha FC take on Mumbai City FC at the Mumbai Football Arena on Thursday in search of their first win of the ongoing Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 season. 

Josep Gombau and Co. lost their last two matches 2-1, conceding late goals on both those matches. In an exclusive pre-match interview with ahead of Thursday’s clash, Odisha’s young midfielder Vinit Rai spoke about conceding late goals as well as the influence of foreigners in the team amongst other things. Here are excerpts: 

How are Odisha FC preparing to bounce back from their recent results?

It is always hard when you lose the first two matches of the season. It is hard for every team not only for us. We are playing good football and I know good things will come. We just have to keep working hard. Our head coach (Josep Gombau) knows what mistakes we have made in the last game. So according to that, we will have discussions with the coach and then accordingly we will make the game plan for the upcoming matches. 

Odisha FC conceded two late goals in both matches, what’s the gameplan for tonight’s contest?

I cannot blame the defence or the mentality. It is just the flow of the game, as you've seen in the Jamshedpur FC match. They were 10 men and the game was level at 1-1. We were trying to push but they hurt us on the counterattack. And in the NorthEast United FC match, the opposite happened, we had just scored an equalizer and then we got a red card immediately. Then instead of going forward, we had to sit back and go for counters and in the end, it was a set-piece error (that cost us), so we will fix that tonight. 

How vital is Xisco Hernandez and Aridane Santana’s contributions?

They are an example for the team. I also learn a lot of things from them. Like how they stay and how they play. There is always something to learn from any player. We are happy to have them in the team and they were on the scoresheet, so it is good for the team. I hope they will continue doing the same in the future. 

Read the match preview here.

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