Gombau: If mathematics says we can qualify, we need to fight

Odisha FC will have a spot at the semi-finals of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 on their minds when they welcome NorthEast United FC at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Friday. The Josep Gombau-coached outfit are currently sixth in the league standings with 16 points from 21 matches. To stand a chance to qualify for the top four, the club will not just need to win their remaining two matches, but will also need to hope that Mumbai City FC and Chennaiyin FC drop all their points.

However, at the pre-match press conference, Gombau believed that anything can happen in football. He said, “For us, it is a very important two games. We have approached this season game by game. Only the last two matches are remaining. If mathematics says that we can do it, we need to fight for it. It will not depend on just us, but football is football.”

“I said to my players that we have to be concentrated on our job. We need to train very well. It is a must-win game. After that, we will enter the last match with the same approach. We need to know what we need to do with the ball. We have prepared for the game like a final. Every game is crucial from here on,” he added.

The Spaniard then revealed what he had been saying to his players ahead of the coming encounter, “We had a good discussion in our changing room. If you are a footballer, you need to live with this pressure and with this winning mentality. The sport is like this. At this moment, it is all or nothing. We need to deal with this. It is a must-win game. It is important for us that our people come to support us, as they have in every home match.”

Lastly, the Odisha head coach shed light on how he analyses the Highlanders, “When you play a team that changed their coach, there are some things that will change. The new coach will introduce his own style and philosophy. The second thing is that a lot of players want to show the new coach that they are good and that they want to be there. For sure when a new coach comes, it is an extra motivation for the players.”

Defender Carlos Delgado, who accompanied Gombau, commented on the upcoming match and his overall journey, “I think we have a possibility to reach the top four. It’s an important game. We need to win and we got to be playing as a team. We have to go together. It is important that we do that. I’m very happy with my first season. I have felt very welcome. Overall, it has been very good for me.”

Read the Match Preview here.

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