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ISL 2019-20: Antonio Iriondo happy with Jamshedpur's reaction after sending-off

5:36 PM GMT 22/10/2019
Jamshedpur vs Odisha FC
The Spanish manager maintained that there is a lot of work to be done, despite bagging all three points against Odisha ...
Jamshedpur FC head coach Antonio Iriondo’s Indian Super League (ISL) debut was one to remember as his side overcame Odisha FC despite playing 65 minutes with 10 men.

A 2-1 win over Josep Gombau’s side delighted the Spanish manager who praised the efforts of his players after they reacted positively to Bikash Jairu’s sending-off.

He said, “We had to change a lot of things on the pitch, many things that we have not practised enough. We did not practice everything in the training ground and we did not expect to play with one less player. After that (the red card), the players did well.

“We tried to score by playing counter-attack. The players put great effort and we have to cheer them because they were controlling the match even with one less player. I want to express my gratitude to them.”

When asked if a home-win was a great way to kick-start the campaign, the 65-year-old shed light on the cons of playing the first game at home. He believes that the players did well to shrug off nervousness and put on a confident show.

“Having the first game at home has pros and cons. There are a lot of players who have not played in these circumstances with 25,000 people cheering. They can get nervous and commit mistakes that they wouldn’t in a different situation. But once they got along, the players were more confident and played well. They forgot everything and focused on just the pitch,” he explained.

CK Vineeth and Memo were among the notable absentees on the pitch for the Men of Steel. The manager confirmed that injury and lack of fitness kept them out. “Vineeth had an injury, so he was unable to play. We can only put five foreign players on the pitch. Memo was injured most of pre-season, so he had fitness issues and we thought that there was no way he could play 90 minutes,” Iriondo said.

The Spaniard also pointed out that there is a lot of work to be done, despite the three points. He feels that the team will take time to incorporate his style of play to perfection.

“We have to improve in all areas. That’s our way of understanding football. It was a competitive match. Both teams had a chance to win it. But in the end, what we want to look is that we played with 10 players for 60 minutes. We have to keep working and keep trying to improve because playing our style is not easy. But it will take time and we will get better every day.

“We have to improve at set-pieces. Their first goal came from a free-kick. So we need to improve and we will keep practising set-pieces. We think that mistakes are important parts of the learning process. We will try to get better,” he concluded.