Every game now is like a final for us: Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau
Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau suggested that every remaining match in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) would be like a final for his team but a win in Bengaluru would mean a lot for them as they prepare for the fixture against Bengaluru FC at the Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday.
Bengaluru FC are coming after a 2-1 win against NorthEast United FC. As this fixture is a must-win match for the home side to get into the playoffs, the Blues would want to repeat the past result at this venue. When Bengaluru FC hosted Odisha FC at the Kanteerava Stadium in 2020, they ended up as the winning side. But Gombau believes that every game is a different one and they have the right mentality to approach the game this time.
"I think every game is totally different. For sure, Bengaluru FC have a very good squad and they are playing at home with their fans but every single game in the league is very equal, so we will have our moments, where we can damage them and get a good result. It is very important and this is the mentality of the team to go there and to approach them in the way that we do in every single game," Gombau said at the pre-match press conference.
"This is our aim to go over there and play a good game by playing our football and also have our mentality inside the pitch trying to press the opposition team. We are concentrated and we are working well in the training sessions. We can play a good game there," he added.
Odisha FC are currently in the fifth position in the table with 22 points, and a win against Bengaluru FC will help them climb up the ladder and get closer to their first ever playoffs in the Hero ISL.
"Every game from here to the end will be very important. Every game has the same value of three points. For sure, we need to be focusing on the game that we have now at Bengaluru. To win here and get three points means a lot. But at the same time we will play against ATK Mohun Bagan in two weeks. After that, we will face FC Goa. I think we have seven finals and we need to go game by game and if we win three or four of these games, we will be in the playoffs and this is the aim that as a team we have, players and coaches and all the people that are involved within the club," he added.
Odisha FC midfielder, Nandhakumar Sekar is having a stellar season for Odisha FC. Before this season, the winger had scored just two goals in 62 matches but this season he found the net five times already in just 12 matches. Along with Nandhakumar, Diego Mauricio also seems to be peaking at the right time. The Brazilian has scored four goals in the last two matches.
"Nandhakumar (Sekar) will be key in the way that we play. Our wingers are always involved in attacking moments. Nandha is a very important player for us, already an experienced guy. We are so happy with his performance and I think in Saturday’s game. He will have a big role," said the head coach.
"Diego Mauricio is very important as he is our top form player at this moment, he scored four goals in two games. He is hungry, which is something very good. He was upset with me when I changed him in the last match. This shows how hungry he is and I want him to put this hunger on the Saturday game and score again," he added.
Victor Rodriguez, the Spanish midfielder, was present in the pre-match press conference ahead of the Bengaluru FC game.
Rodriguez has played nine matches so far this season and has one assist and two interceptions to his name. He reiterated that the game against Bengaluru FC would be a tough one but they have a chance to win the game if they play with the right mentality.
"It will be a tough game. They are very good players. So if those players have their day then it can be tough for us, but if we approach with the right mentality, I think we (can do) better. If we do the things like (we do in) any other games, we can win and we can have a good game," he said.
The Spanish player expressed his thoughts about the team's goal and his personal goals this season, he has played only 295 minutes and wanted to show his true performance for the fans in Odisha.
"First of all, making the playoffs is our goal as a team and we are working every day for that after that we will see how far we can go and on a personal level, I am trying to do my best, trying to train every day to show all the people my best performance. At this moment it is not yet, but I’m working every day to do it and I hope, as soon as possible I can do it," he concluded.