We want to be in the semi-finals and we'll fight for that spot: Odisha FC’s interim head coach Kino Garcia

Odisha FC’s interim head coach Kino Garcia is confident about not repeating the past mistakes that resulted in the 6-1 heavy defeat against Hyderabad FC in the last match as they face them again in their next Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco, Goa.

Odisha FC are a win away from entering the top four once again but with eight matches to go, Garcia is looking at one game at a time.

Ahead of the clash against Hyderabad FC, Garcia addressed the media during a pre-match press conference and was accompanied by defender Lalhrezuala Sailung.

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

Odisha FC have kept two clean sheets in the last two matches, what have you done to improve the defence?

Garcia: What we were trying to do is to implement some movements and explain to our players that we want to make covers and how the team needs to react in different situations during the game. The team is getting compact with players from midfield and the side helping with good goalkeeping performance.

In the reverse fixture, Hyderabad FC defeated Odisha FC 6-1, how will you prepare for this game?

Garcia: Hyderabad FC are in really good shape and one of the best teams in the tournament. They have had the same coach. We are ready to face them and we are sure not to concede so many goals against them. The team has a good mentality and is prepared to compete even though it will be tough like the match against ATK Mohun Bagan was. We know they play 1-4-4-2 and really compact. They know how to make movements in attack, but we will use our weapons to face them.

Three points against HFC will get you back in the semi-final spot, what are your thoughts on that?

Garcia: This match is only three points and we have to see that nine matches are left. Of course, the win will be a big boost and to be in the top-four. But we are thinking that it is important to build the team and be ready for the last few matches. We want to be in the semi-final, that is something we can do and fight for that spot. The players believe and everybody believes that is something we can achieve this year. But being realistic, every match is difficult and is something we cannot plan for with nine matches to go.

Here are the excerpts from Lalhrezuala’s press conference.

How has your experience been playing under coach Anshul and Kino Garcia so far?

Lalhrezuala: Under them, all the players got more confidence inside the pitch. They keep showing trust in the players. It is comfortable to play under them.

You have got good game time this season, how do you feel about your performance?

Lalhrezuala: It has been good for me. I do my best in the training and give my 100%. You can see from my matches, that I got a lot of pressure sometimes but give my best. It was a pleasure and challenge for me to get game time this season.

What is your personal and team target for this season?

Lalhrezuala: The club and coaching staff is determined to get into the playoff and lift the cup this season. And we work hard for that too. We want to achieve these goals this season together.

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