Bhubaneswar, Feb 23: Odisha FC’s Interim Head Coach Steven Dias has asserted that the team is all set for the next match against Mumbai City FC to be played on Wednesday. Answering the questions from the media during the virtual Pre-Match Press Conference, the former India international also pointed out the difference between being a coach and a player.
“It’s completely different as a player and as a coach. As a player, you don’t have so much to think about but as a coach, you have to think 24X7 because you have to manage the whole team. It’s been a good experience, it’s gonna be my first match. I am very excited as well as a little bit nervous. I discussed with my senior team, they are all supporting me. Foreign players and Indian players, they are all supporting me. Yes, we are all ready for the next game,” the Interim Head Coach commented.
When asked about how to keep the players motivated during the current period, the former India midfielder replied, “In this situation, it is difficult to motivate players if you have a bad season but they are professional players. I discussed with them after Gerry (Peyton) left. I am trying my best to keep them motivated, trying to keep little enjoyable training sessions. I give my best to be in the mood and be prepared for the next match.”
Speaking about the pool of talented and young players in the squad, he said, “We have really good young players. I still think that we have a very balanced team. But, we have been so unfortunate. Starting off the season, Thoiba (Singh) and Saurabh (Meher) played in the central midfield but after one or two games even Coach Stuart (Baxter) didn’t get much chance to put Indian players.
“But, they are very talented, I have seen them in the training sessions. In future, they are going to be very good players but we didn’t get much chance to play some of the young players. I am trying my best to give a few young players chance if they can. I personally feel, in one match, you can change your career. I always tell the young players – prepare yourself and when you get the chance, prove yourself,” he further added.
The 37-year-old Mumbai-based professional will be up against the team from his home city tomorrow and he is very excited and has a point to prove. “I am very very excited. It’s my home team and I want to prove myself as a coach. I want to take this match very seriously, I want to prove my home town and for the Indian coaches like we are equally good a foreign coaches. In future, if we get the chance, we will definitely give our best. This is my chance and I want to take this opportunity,” Coach Steven mentioned.
He also said that each and everyone at the Club gave their best throughout the season but things have not gone OFC’s way.
“Not so good season for us. I can’t think of anything which went wrong. Coach Stuart tried his best, Gerry tried his best and now I have got the team and I am trying my best, players gave their best. After we won against Kerala, we thought that we will bounce back and we will get our confidence. I feel collectively everyone gave their best but I think this season is not for us,” he concluded.