Thangboi Singto: We need the energy and motivation from home fans

For their second Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 match at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha FC face off against Chennaiyin FC on Monday. Having started life at their designated home ground with a win over Jamshedpur FC in their last match, Odisha will aim to keep the momentum going with another triumph on home turf.

At the pre-match press conference, assistant coaches Thangboi Singto and Jacobo Varela addressed questions from the media in absence of head coach Josep Gombau. Singto started off the briefing with his assessment of Odisha’s season so far and said, “We have created a lot of chances in the league, particularly from crosses. It shows that we are creating, which is very difficult in football. Of course, we have scored goals but we need to score more. Defensively, we have not done that well. But the players know what they need to do. Head coach Gombau and the coaching staff are working on it and hopefully the results will show from the next match.”

He then reiterated the importance of the home support and stated, “We are thankful for the fans who came to support the team last match. Fans are very important for any sport, any team. Fans motivate us and currently, we need that motivation and energy. We want to translate that energy on the field. We would like to request the fans to come in numbers and get behind the team.”

Varela, meanwhile, was asked about his take on Chennaiyin, particularly following their revival of sorts after Owen Coyle took charge. “Yes, Chennaiyin changed their coach and the first thing that comes to mind is that they are scoring more goals. I think they scored seven goals in their last three matches. But they are also conceding. In the last three, they just won one. Certain things they are doing are similar to what they were doing under the previous coach (John Gregory) but you can also see some changes. Their frontline is doing well and the back four looks strong. Even though we are at home, it won’t be an easy game. We are very similar to each other and I am sure it will be a tough game for us,” he noted.

Winger Nandhakumar Sekar was also present at the briefing and shared his thoughts about the upcoming engagement. “It’s an important game for us and we have prepared well. We are ready. We drew the last match we played against Chennaiyin 2-2. We have learnt from the mistakes and will look to do better,” he said.

“Every game is very important for us now. The league is very competitive. Everyone in the team motivates each other. It’s good for us,” he added.

Read the Match Preview here.

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