Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau was delighted to see his players being committed to the game and praised them for giving their best to improve the team, as his side kept their 100% home win record intact after beating NorthEast United FC 2-1 in matchweek 9 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 at the Kalinga Stadium, in Bhubaneswar, on Friday.

In-form wingers Nandhakumar Sekar and Jerry Mawihmingthanga were on target with a goal each while Rochharzela scored a consolation goal from the visitors.

Gombau expects the team to be fit to have a much better squad and help the side become a strong team. The Spaniard was all praise for the Indian wingers after having scored in the game tonight. Further, he said that Odisha FC do not play for a draw and always want to keep winning. Gombau addressed the media as he spoke in the official post-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from Josep Gombau’s press conference:

Odisha FC won by 2-1. Did you expect any more goals in the match?

No. We spoke with the players during the week that this will not be an easy game. The opposition are doing well, they are not winning games but they are a tough opponent and in the last two to three games they have been doing well. We did not consider this as an easy game. It doesn't matter who scored the goal and how many goals we scored, all that matters is we get three points.

What can you tell about the partnership of Nandhakumar Sekar and Jerry Mawihmingthanga?

The football that we play revolves around the wingers and this duo gets a lot of chances and I think we are happy with both of them. Football is a collective sport and these players are working hard and defending. Everybody is committed and concentrated on the field and tonight every player helped us to improve the game.

When can we expect Michael Soosairaj to be fit and come back? Is there more pressure on the wingers?

It can be a very good addition once Soosairaj will be fit to play as he is a very good player. Him (Soosairaj) and Victor Rodriguez need to be 100% fit who are very important for us. I hope they stay away from injuries and Shubham Sarangi also comes back soon from injury and makes us stronger as a team, better for everyone with more confidence and better game plan to prepare.

Two Indian players scored the goals tonight. Your thoughts on that?

This is something very nice and I am extremely happy for them. Two wingers and both having scored and contributed four goals which are good numbers but we do not say much about Thoiba Moirangthem. He works a lot and wins a lot of second balls along with Raynier Fernandes and everybody was good. Carlos Delgado at the back who wanted to keep on playing in the second half is something that shows the spirit and the mentality within the team is very good. We believed that we scored a second goal, and put a striker on the field looking to win the game. The draw was something we never look into and we want to win every single game.

What was the reason behind switching Raynier Fernandes and Isaac Vanmalsawma in the first half?

It was because Raynier had an injury, he pointed to me after the goal about feeling his groin, and after having someone like Isaac on the bench, we decided to make the change to be sure he (Raynier) will not be injured for a long time.

Another win at home and what do you have to say about the home support?

It is fantastic to have people who support us a lot and have the facilities. For us to play at home, we feel very strong and it is important that people come and support us because we run more and play better. Now we will go to Goa and come back to face ATK Mohun Bagan which is a big game. We are excited for it.

You have just one away win in your last eight games. What will be your approach going forward?

In the beginning we say to the players the plan is to go game by game. I said to them we need to believe in what we are doing because we have got a good squad and our main objective is to be in the top six and be in the playoffs.

The focus is to win every game, the next game is against FC Goa and we will try to win that game. We will go there and do everything to try and get the three points. We have lost away games but we have chances to get a result and that is the way we approach the league. We are in a good position, we are feeling much better and going into the playoffs is always the target that we put ahead of ourselves.