Gombau: It’s all or nothing for us against Hyderabad
Odisha FC’s final match in their temporary home, the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium in Pune, will be against Hyderabad FC on Wednesday. Josep Gombau’s men go into the fixture on the back of a disappointing loss to Bengaluru FC, due to which they find themselves in seventh spot and with just six points to their name.
Playing their home games away from Odisha has been a challenge for them this season and their head coach, Gombau touched on that at his pre-match press conference. “For us, it’s been difficult because we are not playing in Odisha, which is our home ground. We need to be very thankful for the support of the Pune people. We are satisfied here also as we could not have our own ground ready to play these three games,” he said.
The Spaniard further claimed that the visitors will be feeling more at home compared to his team, thanks to the experience of some of their players with the now defunct FC Pune City. “For me, it is more an away game because we are playing against a team that last season, had this as their home ground. They are probably more used to playing here than us. I think this won’t be an aspect that will decide the game. It is a game that we are playing in a very good field, which is now in a very good condition,” said Gombau.
Looking ahead to the match, the Odisha boss maintained, “It is a massive game for us. It’s all or nothing, maybe. Because if we win against Hyderabad, we are with nine points, and we are close to the group who are fighting for the playoffs. If we don’t win, we are in the group which is very far away from the playoffs. I think that it is all or nothing. So, it’s important to have this mentality from the very beginning, but without pressure because in 90 minutes, we have time to do everything. It’s a game which is very important.”
The 43-year-old also admitted that having bulk of the possession meant nothing if his side couldn’t score goals. “It’s not just keeping the ball. It is not a game where the team which has more of the ball wins it. I think that we are creating chances and are arriving to the box of the opposition team. Last game against Bengaluru, we had 29 arrivals inside the box, which is a lot. I think we worked this week and prepared for the game well. I hope that against Hyderabad we can have the same performance we have been having in the last weeks,” Gombau added.
Young goalkeeper, Arshdeep Singh was seated alongside Gombau at the media briefing. The youngster seemed confident of his team’s chances against Hyderabad and stated, “The experience (of playing) has been good. We are very well prepared. We will go for the three points (against Hyderabad). We have our plan. So, we will stick to it. It’s going to be a tough match. They are a good opposition. They know the ground very well. But we know what to do. We have our plan. So, we will try to give our best and get all three points.”
Read the Match Preview here.