We must improve defensively if we are to be a serious team: Odisha FC’s Kiko Ramirez

Odisha FC head coach Kiko Ramirez wasn’t a very happy man despite his team beating SC East Bengal 6-4 in a thriller in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco, Goa on Tuesday.

Ramirez was not happy with his team for conceding four goals and making it a nervy finish to the game. Odisha FC stormed back from 0-1 down to lead 4-1 but allowed SC East Bengal to come within a goal of them at 5-4 before Aridai Suarez settled the game.

The OFC head coach felt his team has to improve on their defending if they have to challenge the top teams in the league.

Ramirez spoke to the media after the game and here are excerpts from his press conference:

Describe your victory tonight?

It was a crazy match and as a coach you don't like that. We are worried about some aspects that we need to correct because that can't happen in a top-flight match. We have to work a lot if we want to be a serious team. It would have been a wonderful match for the fans because a lot of goals happened but not for the coaches.

Javi has scored three goals so far. You started him as a striker. What motivated you to make this change?

We want to pick the player that is performing well during training and as far as Javi is concerned, he is performing in training as well as the match. It's an easy decision for us to have him in the line-up. He has earned it.

You have been playing some wonderful football. What do you expect from your team in the next 18 matches?

As of now we want to work towards not conceding so many goals. If we want to be with the best teams in the league we need to work and not concede so many goals in the match.

You took off Javi at half time and brought in Jonathas and Aridai. Was it a tactical change or is he not fully fit?

We made the change as we want everyone to be in good shape. We have many matches in a short period of time so we made the changes. So it was not related to any injury, just a tactical decision of the staff.

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