'Odisha could have stolen the game' - Gerry Peyton happy to be the spoilsport in Kerala Blasters' race for the playoffs

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ISL

Odisha head coach Gerry Peyton was a relieved man after his team shared spoils with Kerala Blasters in their Indian Super League 2020-21 clash at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa on Thursday. 

Even though the Warriors couldn't match Kerala Blasters in terms of the number of chances created, Peyton said that his team stuck to their gameplan and could have even grabbed all three points from the game. 

"I think we had a game plan. We stuck to the plan and that enabled us to pinch the game in the end. We had two massive chances. Jacob (Tratt) had one from the corner. Brad (Inman) had one where he could have hit it out of the goalkeeper's reach. But he hit it well. We could have stolen the game," Peyton said.  

"I never give up on anything. The last game, the penalty, we lost our way a little bit. But when I got back in the dressing room. I spoke to them the next day in the briefing. I said listen, boys, we never stop playing football, if it's 95 minutes or 97, we give our everything. We could have stolen the game because we kept going," he added. 

Talking about Odisha's defending in the match, he said,  "I think, during the season, the defensive line has been under pressure. They have handled the pressure very well. Like today's game, they came down on the left side in the first half. And then I freshened up the left side. And then I changed Jerry to the other side.

"I knew they are going to overload our flanks. I thought we stayed narrow as well and stopped them coming through the middle. I know they had chances. I saw the chances they missed. But I am delighted with the two goals and two big chances to win the game."

The Irishman also revealed that young midfielder Paul Ramfangzauva, whom he praised highly in the previous fixture, was absent from the game as he was injured. He, however, mentioned that Bradden Inman was his man-of-the-match due to his fantastic skills on the ball. 

"He (Paul) is injured. As soon as he's fit I'll put him back on the team. Bradden Inman for me today was outstanding. He reminded me of some of the touches and how he turned and how he combined with the players. I'm very pleased," he said.

Diego Mauricio saved the day for Odisha with a brace. But Peyton also wants other players to step up and score goals.

"I think it would be nice if everyone contributes to scoring goals. Diego (Mauricio) scored all the goals, Cole (Alexander) scored a few. Other members of the team contributed. But assists are good as well," Peyton said. 

"I'm going to spoil it (for other managers). Will upset as many managers as possible in the last few games," he added.