Gombau happy with first win of the season, Costa blames complacency for loss

Odisha FC got their first points in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 after beating Mumbai City FC 4-2 at the Mumbai Football Arena on Thursday. Summer signing, Aridane Santana bagged a brace, while Xisco Hernandez and Jerry Mawihmingthanga also grabbed a goal apiece. From the Islanders’ end, Mohamed Larbi and Bipin Singh struck in the second half, although it proved to be nothing more than mere consolation.

At the post-match press conference, a delighted Odisha boss, Josep Gombau opined that the three points were long overdue and thoroughly deserved. “I think we did well against a very good opposition team. I think in the last two games also we did quite well. Honestly, I think we deserved to at least have a win before tomorrow. But this is football and today everything went our way. And I also think that this run that Mumbai had with three games in eight days is something difficult to deal with. For us, I think it was a good thing.”

The Spaniard then, praised the work of young wingers, Nandhakumar Sekar and Jerry. He said, “I like to play with our wingers, it’s something I have always done, and I like. Coming from Barcelona, it’s something very usual to play this 4-3-3. And we are playing 4-2-1-3 because we have these other wingers. I think they are the players who fit very well in this football we want to play, because they are quick, and they feel comfortable playing outside. I think they will grow. They are very young, and they are doing well. I am so happy with them.”

Looking back on his team’s earlier two matches, Gombau claimed, “I was upset with the result but happy with the way we played our last game against NorthEast. Our first game was okay... Second game against NorthEast I think we played, like today, a good game. But we conceded with two mistakes and after that we didn’t have the finishing. I think we are doing well. We have to keep working. The good thing is that we are growing with young players. And the kind of club we are, it’s one of our objectives.”

The 43-year-old, however, recognized his team were far from the finished article, stating, “We can improve. There is room to improve. We need to see the game and for sure there are mistakes. And we need to improve in all this. It’s the third game of the season and we need to go game by game. We won one game, but that doesn’t mean anything. It’s just one game. We need to be happy today and from tomorrow, I have to start to work again to prepare for the Kerala game away.”

Mumbai City head coach, Jorge Costa, meanwhile, wasn’t very happy with the complacency that had set in within his group of players after their first two matches. “The problem is that after two games, we felt that our job was done and in football when you are not prepared for the things you must do, you cannot expect more than what we did in the first 45 minutes. We conceded some silly goals. This is not my team. This is not what I want. This is for sure not what (the players) want. But as I said, today we didn’t deserve anything else but a loss.”

The Portuguese coach, however, applauded the visitors for their performance and stated that they were more than deserving winners. “This game, with all respect to Odisha, they played well. They deserved to win. With almost the same players, we did good things. I didn’t like yesterday’s training and I felt that they think now that they are much better than they really are. We must work again. We must be focused. We must be 100 per cent professional and we must respect the others.”

Read the Match Report here.

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