The Odisha FC assistant manager also had a few complaints about the new pitch at the Kalinga stadium ….
Odisha FC picked their second win at home on the trot when they saw off Chennaiyin 2-0 in the 11th round of the Indian Super League (ISL).
A spectacular performance by Indian players saw Jerry Mawihmingthanga and Vinit Rai among the goals. Assistant manager Jacobo Varela was pleased to see players other than Aridane Santana on the score-sheet. He also admitted that it was not an easy win by any means.
He said, “It was not that comfortable for me. I was nervous on the bench. We got a clean sheet and it is something that we need to appreciate and acknowledge. Aridane is an extremely important player for us. The more players we add to the score-sheet, it’s better. It’s good for their confidence and it’s something we can use in future games. I’m happy with the win.”
Head coach Josep Gombau watched the game from the stands as he served his suspension. His second in command claimed that this did not affect the game in any way as the two had prepared for every scenario beforehand.
“No (Gombau not on the bench did not make much of a difference). I know him well, he knows me well. We prepared the plan very well. We were planning contingency just in case there were some injuries in different positions. What happens if a player gets a red card and stuff like that. We prepared for the game thoroughly and fortunately, it worked out as planned. So, I don’t think anyone here felt that Josep wasn’t there,” he said.
He also emphasised on how the condition of the pitch affected their gameplay and how they could not control the game in the second half.
“It is true that we could not maintain the pace of the game (after going 2-0 up). First of all, we are not a team that can control every minute of the game. As you saw, the pitch is not in the best condition. For us and for them it was just different.
“There were moments when we felt comfortable, I think in the first half. In the second half, we were most focused on defending the score. We did not want to concede the first goal which could create some doubts in my team. We did not try to slow the pace of the game but we couldn’t control it as much as we would have liked,” he concluded.