Virtually out of contention for a play-offs spot, bottom-placed Odisha FC will play for pride when they take on Jamshedpur FC in an Indian Super League match here on Monday. The Kalinga Warriors have won just one game while losing seven and are at the bottom of the 11-team league with eight points.
But they did record two draws in the last two encounters against better teams and head coach Stuart Baxter urged his side to step up and turn things around. "At the moment, we need to start (turning) those good performances that ended in a draw to good performances that result in a win," he said.
"We are not talking about the play-offs till about two to three weeks. We're talking about getting to the next game. And, hopefully, we will get a victory that's what we have been trying to do since the season started," he added. The last time the two teams clashed, they split points in a four-goal thriller.
Baxter is anticipating another tough fixture on Monday. "Owen's (Coyle) team is usually very competitive. I've seen them play games where they don't give up and they've got some good players. So I don't expect anything less than a difficult game," said Baxter.
Jamshedpur find themselves in an almost similar situation, though they still have a chance for the play-offs. While Odisha have dropped points in their last four games, it's been five matches since JFC registered a win. JFC have also failed to score in three out of their last four games. With the top four looking ever so distant, coach Coyle will be looking to turn his team's goal-scoring form around.
"The way for us is to try and win those games which can make a difference, from one point to three points. We have six massive games ahead of us but we will take each game at a time starting with Odisha. We want to try and win that game," he said. "Odisha have some very good players. When you look at the forward players, they are capable of scoring goals. It will be an exciting game as both teams would want to win," Coyle said.