We must show 100% commitment on the pitch: Odisha FC’s Kiko Ramirez

Odisha FC head coach Kiko Ramirez advised his players to remain focused on the upcoming matches and remain persistent with their commitment for the team, as his side takes on Jamshedpur FC in Match 29 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season on Tuesday at the Tilak Maidan Stadium.

The Bhubaneshwar-based side have had an ideal start to their season, having won four and losing just one out of the five matches. While this is just the beginning, Ramirez cautioned his players not to get carried away as there are many difficult games yet to be played and wants them to put their best foot forward on the pitch.

Ahead of their side’s battle with Jamshedpur FC, head coach Kiko Ramirez, assistant coach Kino Sanchez, and midfielder Javi Hernandez addressed the media during a pre-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from the coaches’ press conference:

What is your assessment of the Jamshedpur FC team and their coach Owen Coyle?

Ramirez: He’s [Owen Coyle] doing a wonderful job at Jamshedpur FC. His team is probably one of the best teams in this season. They have a clear idea of what they have to do when they are on the pitch and are performing really well.

Odisha FC got their first clean sheet of the season in the last match. What is your message to the players to keep up the moment?

Ramirez: The team has to be focused on the games ahead and must show 100% commitment to the team and on the pitch. We know that we are going to have tough games ahead so it’s important that the players are focused and paying attention to everything on the pitch until the last minute.

Four matches in the season and we haven’t seen Arshdeep Singh yet, and Kamaljit Singh has done well as the goalkeeper. How are you planning to rotate the keepers in the entire duration of the tournament?

Ramirez: We’re not only thinking about rotating goalkeepers, but we’re also thinking of rotating all the players in the squad. We think about how they are at the moment, what their physical condition is. So, each week, things can change.

It’s a good start to the season but there are still 15 more games to go after tomorrow. How big of a challenge is maintaining the position in the league table for you?

Sanchez: It’s a different challenge. It is something good because currently, we’re winning and are in a good position in the table, but we have to keep on training and keep improving, and the players will continue believing in what we’re doing on the pitch. So, it’s better to develop ourselves and win each game.

Here are the excerpts from the player’s press conference:

Last year you couldn’t play all the matches for ATK Mohun Bagan. What will be your personal goals this season with Odisha FC?

Hernandez: I play as best as I can. When I’m on the pitch, I give my best form as a player to the team. So, this season too, I will try to do the same. 

How do you rate Jamshedpur FC as an opposition?

Hernandez: It’s going to be a tough game. As coach [Kiko Ramirez] said before, they put a lot of intensity in their games. They started their reason really well, and surely, it’s going to be a difficult game.

You've been playing in India for three years now. How do you find the league and the players here?

Hernandez: The league has been improving every year. From my first season until now, I have been seeing better players around me because I think the Indian players want to learn and improve themselves which is good for the league as well.

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