We are entering an important phase of the season: Odisha FC's Kiko Ramirez

Odisha FC coach Kiko Ramirez is confident that his side can compete with any team in the league as they lock horns with ATK Mohun Bagan in match 53 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 at Athletic Stadium, Bambolim on Saturday.

Odisha FC rank seventh in the points table with 13 points in nine matches. They are only a point away from making it into the top four.

Odisha FC defeated the then table-toppers Mumbai City FC 4-2 in their last match. They were clinical upfront, scoring four goals from eight shots at goal. Kamaljit Singh played his role between the posts. He faced eight shots on target but only two of them resulted in goals.

Ahead of Odisha FC’s clash against ATK Mohun Bagan, coach Ramirez, assistant coach Kino Sanchez and defender Nikhil Prabhu addressed the media during the official pre-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from Ramirez’s press conference.

How do you see ATK Mohun Bagan as opposition?

Ramirez: It's a dangerous match. They are one of the strongest teams in ISL. After drawing their last game they will be hungry to get the three points.

It’s very rare that a club sends their captain on loan to a rival club. What was the reason?

Ramirez: As a coach I have to do what’s best for the team. My job is to work with the rest of the players and do what’s best for them. Also, the player wanted to leave and the club took its decision.

How’s the mood in the camp after a win over Mumbai City FC?

Ramirez: We are happy that after losing to Hyderabad FC the boys reacted positively and managed to pull off this sort of a result against a big team. It means we can compete with any team in the competition. It gives confidence to the players.

It’s been very competitive this season. Do you think it gives other teams a chance to qualify for the playoffs?

Ramirez: Of course it’s good for the league. But the important thing is where you finish at the end of the season. We are in an important phase of the season.

Here is the excerpt from Sanchez’s press conference.

How was your experience taking charge of the team in the last match?

Sanchez: For me it was a really good experience. In the end it was teamwork. We discuss all the possible scenarios before the match so we have a clear picture. All the players and the staff gave their hundred percent.

Here are the excerpts from Nikhil’s press conference.

ATKMB has a very strong forward line, how do you plan to deal with them?

Nikhil: We have a plan which we will try to execute tomorrow. We have experienced players like Hector and Victor. We will work hard to stop them.

How has your first season with Odisha FC been so far?

Nikhil: It has been going really well. I was injured at the start but now I am fit again and ready to give my best. I want to thank all the staff and physios who helped me recover. I hope we will do well tomorrow and win the match.

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