This is the best bunch of players I've worked with: Odisha FC's Clifford Miranda
Odisha FC head coach Clifford Miranda sounded confident as the Juggernauts prepare to take on Bengaluru FC in the Hero Super Cup Final at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode, Kerala on Tuesday.
The Juggernauts came out victorious against NorthEast United FC in the semi-final clash to book their tickets to their first-ever final for the club. Bengaluru FC outplayed Jamshedpur FC with a 2-0 scoreline to compete in their third final of the year, and the Blues would be looking to get their hands on the second trophy of the season after winning the Durand Cup at the beginning of the campaign.
Both teams would be looking for their final victory over each other after winning one match each in the Hero ISL league stages. Nandhakumar Sekar scored in the 1-0 victory over the Blues and the 27-year-old would be looking to continue his fine form with three goals in the tournament so far.
The Juggernauts have had a season to remember, the team made it to their first ever playoffs in the Hero ISL and now, they've reached their first ever final. Miranda talked about reaching the final being a proud moment for the fans and the owners.
"We talked about this earlier that it's the first final for the club, for us, it's just another game. For the supporters, the owners it can be the first time that Odisha FC is playing in a final but for us, it's just another game. Another game where we have to focus on our things, do all the right things that we've been doing till now and prepare for a very strong and a solid Bengaluru FC team," Miranda said in the pre-match press conference.
Being true to their "Comeback kings" title, the Juggernauts came from behind in last two matches. It's been a trademark for Odisha FC to get the comebacks victories after conceding first and they've carried their Hero ISL form to the Hero Super Cup as well. Miranda shed light how the team spirit and togetherness is the decisive factor for the team's performances.
"It's the togetherness that these players have. We have a good combination of players, we've got good young players and some very good foreigners and that's what keeps us together. I must give the credit to the players, it's the best bunch of players I've ever worked with, not just in terms of quality but also in terms of spirit and togetherness. All these qualities have led the team to where we are," Miranda said.
Miranda was accompanied by Victor Rodriguez in the pre-match conference. The midfield maestro has two goals in last three matches and he would be looking to continue his inspiring form in the final. Rodriguez talked about the importance of the fixture while also treating it like another game to keep themselves focused.
"It's important for us, we are here enjoying the moment and enjoying the time of playing together. Obviously, we know that we have a big match on Tuesday and hopefully we can win and continue our experience with Odisha FC. It's a very important game but as the coach said, we'll look at it like just one more game," Rodriguez said in the pre-match conference.
The Spanish midfielder has formed a great partnership with other attackers in the team. His link-up play with Deigo Mauricio and NandhaKumar Sekar has been the main source of goals for the Juggernauts. The 33-year-old expressed his pleasure of sharing the pitch with likes of Nandhakumar, Mauricio and Pedro Martin and how the team has worked hard to achieve this moment.
"I'm happy because it's easy if you can play with great players. It's easier to show the performance and I'm happy to play with Deigo (Mauricio), Nandha (Nandhakumar Sekar) and Pedro (Martin). For Odisha FC, the most important is the team, we are working together since the league started and we worked for this moment. We are very happy and hopefully, we can go and win." Rodriguez stated.