Gombau: Spanish influence will make Jamshedpur, Odisha tie interesting

Odisha FC will be on the road to play their first-ever Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) match against Jamshedpur FC at the JRD Tata Sports Complex on Tuesday. The new side on the block will be eager to mark their first foray with a memorable performance on the night, and hopefully go home with all three points.

Odisha head coach Josep Gombau, accompanied by left-back Narayan Das and captain Marcos Tebar, attended the pre-match press conference ahead of the tie. The 43-year-old kicked off the proceedings, by revealing the team's preparations for the coming season. "Now, we start a new journey. I think something good is in store here because I know a lot of the players. We have a good squad. All the signings have been done to increase the level of the team. We are excited and want to go out and do the job."

He, then, dismissed suggestions that a lot of pressure would be associated with the team's maiden campaign and said, “I think football is to enjoy. We had a long pre-season. We played a lot of games and we worked hard and well. When we start the season, we will have no pressure. We will enjoy and have a good game.”

On being asked about the substantial Spanish influence in his squad, Gombau answered, "Yes, it’s true. We have five Spanish players in our squad. Jamshedpur also have a lot of Spanish players. I think it will be a good game. Spanish players, Spanish coaches, so we will try to play in a certain way that involves keeping the ball and play attacking football. It will be an interesting game."

Asked about the youngsters in his squad and his reputation of working well with young talents, Gombau said, “We are so happy. We have a good pool of Indian players. Most of them are very young. This is one of the main objectives of the club, to promote them and help them take the next step in football. I think our squad is the youngest squad in Hero ISL this season. They are ready.”

Das, meanwhile, looked back fondly at his time spent at the TATA Football Academy in Jamshedpur, stating, “I started my journey with the TATA Football Academy. There are a lot of football fans here. I feel at home here. When I see the TATA Football Academy, I feel very good.”

“The match will be played on the ground,” said the defender on being asked his thoughts on the coming fixture. “Saying something will not affect the outcome. As the coach said, our spirit is good and everyone is confident. The team bonding is good as well. So, we’ll see.”

The Odisha captain, Marcos Tebar, was the last to speak, revealing he didn’t feel any extra burden because of the added responsibility. “No, I don’t really have any pressure of being the captain because last year, in the second half of the season, I was the captain for Delhi Dynamos. Josep trusts me and I am here. We are looking to start this competition. We worked very hard," he stated.

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