Gombau praises team's will as Jamil bemoans poor second half showing

Odisha FC demonstrated terrific spirit to come back from a goal down to win 2-1 against NorthEast United FC at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Friday. The win helped the club stay alive in the top-four race of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20, although their fate still depends on the likes of Mumbai City FC and Chennaiyin FC dropping points.

At the post-match press conference, Odisha head coach Josep Gombau reiterated that and said, “We are very happy that we won. Now we have the next game, which is very important. Depending on what happens between Mumbai City and Chennaiyin next Friday, now there is a possibility for us to be in the top four.”

The Spaniard then went on to analyze his team’s performance and added, “I think we played well. In the first half, I don’t think we deserved to go to the dressing room losing 1-0. We adjusted a few things and came back stronger. We played in the second half with three players at the back, taking a calculated risk because we needed a win. We played a very offensive formation. We were very brave and showed we wanted to win the game.”

On the performance and form of striker Manuel Onwu, Gombau opined, “Aridane Santana fitted very well into our playing style. He has helped a lot of the young players. Manuel, I know because I have scouted him before. I know the kind of player he is. He can score a lot of goals if you can provide the crosses to him. Sometimes one player shines in one club and is unable to do so in another. Onwu is a good guy who speaks to everybody.”

Finally, the Odisha head coach revealed what his team will be working on in the coming week. He commented, “I think we will work well over the week. I have this hope, but the problem is that we need a favourable result from the Mumbai game and that is not in my hands.”

NorthEast United’s interim head coach Khalid Jamil, meanwhile, rued his club’s showing in the second half. He said, “First half we started well. We scored an early goal. But in the second half, we didn’t start well. We conceded an early goal in the second half. Then, pressure came on us. They scored from a corner. Our marking was not good.”

Jamil then, pointed to injuries to key personnel as the defining reason behind the club’s poor showing in the Hero ISL 2019-20. He stated, “We had injuries in the middle of the season. We had injuries to main foreign players. Then, we brought new foreigners and they tried their best. Everybody worked hard.”

“We have two home matches remaining. We will try to give our best, especially in the next match. Some new players will be back from injury,” added Jamil as he looked ahead to the club’s last matches of the season.

Read the Match Report here.

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