If you don't score, you get punished: Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau
Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau expressed that his side needs to take chances in order to win games after the Juggernauts went down fighting against Kerala Blasters FC by a solitary goal in a high-octane fixture in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in Kochi, on Monday.
The match was played with high intensity from the first whistle with both teams knocking at the opponent's goal. Odisha FC looked more threatening in the first half but Kerala Blasters FC took the control back in the second half. With both teams coming close to breaking the deadlock, the decisive moment came in the 86th minute as a misjudged punch from Odisha FC's Amrinder Singh fell kindly for Kerala Blasters FC defender Sandeep Singh, who headed the ball in the open net and secured all three points for the home team.
While Odisha FC continued to stay rooted at the sixth place, Kerala Blasters FC jumped to the third spot on the Hero ISL points table after extending their unbeaten run to seven games. Speaking at the post-match press conference, Gombau rued his side's missed chances and felt that the visitors lost control of the game in the opening half.
"I think we are doing well, the first half for me was good. We controlled the game playing our way in a big stadium against a very good side like Kerala Blasters FC. We should've scored the goal (early on through Raynier Fernandes), we had the chance and we didn't score. The second half became more equal and in the last 30 minutes Kerala Blasters FC had more chances and was in better shape than us," Gombau said.
Odisha FC failed to find the back of the net in their third straight game and Gombau called for his side to take their chances. The Spaniard felt the goal scored by Sandeep Singh was a result of the team's mistake.
"This is what happens in a football game, if you don't score, you get punished. For sure we need to score if we want to win the games and at the end, the details decide whether you'll bring the game to your side or not. We didn't score the goal and they scored the goal from our own mistake. It's football, we need to keep on working and I'm sure we will score goals," Gombau stated.
Odisha FC piled on the pressure in the first half with Raynier Fernandes hitting the post in the third minute of the match. Odisha FC ended the first half on a high with eight attempts out of which three were on target as compared to only one shot from Kerala Blasters FC. Gombau felt his team's energy levels dropped down as a result of their high pressing in the first half, but he was satisfied with the shift his players put in.
"We pressed high in the first half but it was difficult in the second half as we got tired because we were pressing from the beginning. This is something that we need to think about. Slowly we were at a disadvantage and in the end, Kerala Blasters FC is a very good team. I think we had a good game, I cannot say anything to my players because everybody gave their two hundred percent. Our job is to watch the game and to analyse what we can improve and do it," Gombau mentioned.
"I think it's normal in football, sometimes you can win three matches in a row and sometimes you don't win for three games. It's true that we played against strong oppositions like FC Goa, ATK Mohun Bagan and now, Kerala Blasters FC. In the last game we deserved more, one goal was disallowed and these kinds of things change the perspective of people. I need to see things differently, I need to see what we did wrong when the result is very good, and what we can improve and now if the result is not good, I need to see what we are doing well. As a coach, I need to see the big perspective," Gombau added.
Odisha FC face league leaders Mumbai City FC at home in their next fixture and Gombau was positive that the team can win the match, he said:" Of course, I think we can have a good game and we can win. We are playing at home and this is always a challenge. They are a good side but our mentality is to always try to win."