Odisha FC head coach Clifford Miranda expects his side to put in a solid team performance as they square off against Gokulam Kerala FC in the Hero Club Playoffs for a place in the group stage of the AFC Cup 2023-24 at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode, Kerala, on Saturday.

After lifting their first-ever silverware in the Hero Super Cup, the Bhubaneswar-based club have now shifted their focus onto the next hurdle against the Hero I-League side with an eye for a place at the continental level.

Ahead of the game, Miranda provided a brief note about their Hero Super Cup campaign and insisted that they will head into the playoffs with the same winning mentality.

“We came here (in Kerala) with an objective. Objective, that kept improving from match to match. We assembled here on March 16th and from then on, we went through day-to-day and match-to-match improvement. Yes, we won the Hero Super Cup, but that was in the past. I hope that myself and the players realize that it is a new game and we have to start from zero once again,” Miranda said in the pre-match press conference.

“Whatever we did in the past will not help us unless we start working (again), like how we did until now. It is the same thing. The process is the same. We have to start the game like how we always do,” he added.

The former Indian international operated as a deputy to Josep Gombau in the Hero ISL and later took complete charge of the team after the club parted ways with the Spaniard. He followed the philosophy of his predecessor and was able to quickly get the team back into shape. Miranda sheds light on the Juggernauts’ playing style and affirmed that they will field their best-possible line-up.

“We will play in the same way as we have been training since the club appointed me as the head coach. In the Hero Super Cup as well, we played in a similar way without changing much. We will try to field the strongest team that is possible for us,” explained Miranda.

When quizzed about being a young coach, Miranda stated that the philosophy of coaching is changing and it is no longer about older coaches having an upper hand on the young coaches.

“It is the same with young coaches and older coaches. I think the notion that older coaches give better results is now gone. It is true that the world is changing; the dynamics of football and coaching are changing. Now, people have begun to study coaching from a very young age,” concluded Miranda.