During the press conference ahead of the Super Cup final, Clifford Miranda explained why an Indian coach, like him, was an oddity in the ISL. The Odisha FC coach conceded the Indian coaches had some way to go yet.
Miranda added it was also difficult to convince the franchise owners even if the coaches were good and that they would have to work twice or three times more than their foreign counterparts. Over the last couple of weeks, he has shown, however, an Indian coach could take a team all the way to the final of a major tournament like the Super Cup.
Talking about Tuesday’s final against Bengaluru FC, he said his team wasn’t thinking of it as its first-ever final. “For us, it’s another game where we have to do the right things against a very good opponent,” he said.
That opponent, Bengaluru, has had an excellent season. It won the Durand Cup and, more recently, contested the ISL final, in which it lost to ATK Mohun Bagan in a shootout.
The Bengaluru coach, Simon Grayson, is keen to put that behind him and win the Super Cup final. “We mentioned after the game that we had another competition left to play and we will try to win that,” he said.
It should be a fascinating final between two sides that have played some excellent football in this tournament during the last fortnight or so. Both have some top-class players in form, such as Sunil Chhetri, Javi Hernandez and Roy Krishna (Bengaluru), Diego Mauricio, Nandhakumar, Victor Rodriguez and Jerry Mawihmingthanga (Odisha).
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