Nandhakumar Sekar: Our system is all about good ball possession

In their second match of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 season, Odisha FC will be on the road to face NorthEast United FC at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday. Josep Gombau’s men failed to make their numerical advantage count in their last match against Jamshedpur, and will be hoping to get their first points of the season against the Highlanders.

Ahead of the fixture, caught up with Odisha midfielder, Nandhakumar Sekar for an exclusive interview. Here are the excerpts:

You have four away matches back to back, how is the team coping with that pressure?

Yes, we start off with four away matches. It’s going to be very difficult but we’re very confident going into the games. We have a good squad, so we can do well. 

Talk to us about the head coach, Joseph Gombau.

He motivates the players all the time. He tells us to fight for every ball and keeps motivating each and every player.

You have a lot of big signings in the dressing room, so what kind of motivation do you get from them?

Yes, I'm getting a lot of motivation from the foreign players and from the Indian players also. It is a good experience. I am learning a lot from Marcos Tebar. 

Plan against NorthEast United FC?

We are an attacking team. We play with attacking wingers who are good with crossing the ball. We have a good player in Aridane (Santana), who is a good header of the ball. 

Josep Gombau’s system has a heavy focus on the wingers. Does it bring added pressure to the likes of Jerry Mawihmingthanga and you?

No, I don’t feel the pressure. The system requires the wingers to put in a lot of crosses and shoot from distance. The system is also about good ball possession.

Read the Match Preview here.

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