The 1-0 loss to FC Goa at Bambolim meant that Odisha FC continued their winless run in the 2020/21 Indian Super League season. They are currently in the 10th place on the ISL table and are among three teams who are still looking for their first win of the season.
While SC East Bengal are ISL debutants, Odisha FC and Kerala Blasters have been in the league long enough. However, it is still early in the season and there are enough games for Odisha FC to turn their season around.
Let's take a look at three players in the Odisha FC ranks who can help the club and head coach Stuart Baxter spark a turnaround in the games to come.
#1 Steven Taylor
Apart from being one of the first few signings in the ISL pre-season, Steven Taylor came into the top-flight with a rather high reputation. Having played for Newcastle United for over a decade, Taylor moved to the United States and then to Australia before signing with Odisha FC in the Indian top-flight.
The former Magpies man was also named captain by Stuart Baxter for the season — an obvious choice given his experience. However, one thing Taylor has not been able to do alongside Jacob Tratt is to stem the flow of goals. So far, the club has let in seven goals in five games, something that Baxter will hope to rectify as the season moves forward.
Steven Taylor will undoubtedly be an important factor in ensuring the success of Odisha FC, something that has eluded them since the inception of the club.
33-year-old Marcelinho is a veteran of the ISL if ever there was one. The Brazilian made his first foray into Indian football in 2016 when he signed with Delhi Dynamos. His first, and perhaps most memorable season, came with Delhi when he scored 10 goals in 15 appearances. He then went on to play with the now-defunct Pune City FC and then Hyderabad FC before signing for Odisha FC.
The Brazilian is also the third-highest goalscorer in the history of the ISL with 31 goals to his name. However, while his numbers paint a good story, Marcelinho is yet to get off the mark in terms of goals for Odisha FC. At the moment, the pressure is mounting on the Brazilian to come good as Odisha look to snap their winless streak.
#3 Diego Mauricio
Diego Mauricio is one of four overseas players on the Odisha FC roster to have never played in the ISL before the 2020/21 season. It was anticipated by Baxter and his coaching staff that the 29-year-old would take time to make an impact.
However, it took just two games for the Brazilian to show exactly what he is capable of in front of the goal. He scored a brace against Jamshedpur FC to help his side rescue a point. Since then, Mauricio has not been able to find the back of the net. He will hope to rectify that in Odisha FC's next match against Bengaluru FC.
His strength and presence in attack make Mauricio a valuable asset for Baxter for the 2020/21 season of the ISL.Published 16 Dec 2020, 15:43 IST