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“If players lose confidence, it’s a double defeat” – Stuart Baxter confident of overthrowing Odisha FC fortune


The British coach believes that Odisha did not defend badly but isolated decisions hurt the camp …

Odisha FC, which languishes at the bottom of the Indian Super League (ISL) table, are the only team to win a game yet this season.

With only two draws in eight matches, they have only two points to show for their efforts. However, coach Stuart Baxter implores his players to keep believing in them as a crucial game against the Kerala Blasters takes place on Thursday.

He admits that keeping the players believing in them is his biggest challenge in this difficult time for the club.

“The biggest problem we have right now is that despite playing well in most games, we haven’t turned that into results. This is the critical phase of the game. In some of them we have even dominated. It can hurt your belief. and confidence. These are the things we talked about, ”he said.

The British coach has revealed that he is working on several adjustments as he prepares for an important game, but the main factor is the belief of the players. He believes that all they need is an output to follow their path.

“I wish I could have put it (the solution to Odisha’s woes) in a bottle and have the players drink it. It would be much easier. The first thing that has to happen is that the players don’t lose confidence.

“My dad, he was a coach at Aston Villa, said if you lose and if you lose your belief then it’s a double defeat. But if you lose and keep your confidence, then it’s a half loss. So we are trying to do it. .

“We are aware of the adjustments we need to make. We do it and therefore we improve. When the dynamics change, they will change dramatically.

“Players should not attract negativity. They must believe firmly. Like Jerry (Mawihmingthanga), he can replay the pass in his head and know the solution (most of the time). The good thing is we know the solutions and put them in our heads, then move on. “

Odisha’s defense came under scrutiny during their winless start to the season. More often than not they have conceded cheap goals at crucial times and this was evident in their last loss, a 3-1 loss to East Bengal who were also struggling early in the campaign.

However, Baxter believes that Odisha did not defend badly. Rather, these are individual mistakes and not the collective defense of the poor.

“People sometimes equate defensive mistakes with poor defense. Well, bad defense for me is when there is no balance or when the distance between defenders is low and who goes to the ball and bad decisions. But that’s not the case with us.

“In the middle of a period where we are defending ourselves well, one of our players makes bad decisions and makes individual mistakes. I can change the functional part but the individual part leaves a mental scar which produces more errors. We need to make sure that we make strong decisions so that mistakes don’t happen again. This is the big battle we have. “

The Kerala Blasters, Odisha’s next opponents, haven’t been in great shape either. They only have one win to show in eight games and only have six points in their prize pool. Baxter believes that Odisha can choose anything in the game and trouble Kibu Vicuna’s men.

“Every opponent that we have, we can potentially get a good result against them. Every game I see is very competitive. It can go any way depending on the referee’s decision or a bad part of the game. Kerala Blasters is exactly the same. Many of their games have been close. They could have been higher in the league. I think it will be a competitive game. We go into this game knowing that we can win this game. “