It's a must-win match for us: Odisha FC's Josep Gombau on East Bengal FC clash
Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau expressed the team is ready for the challenge and players are in a good mood as the Juggernauts welcome East Bengal FC at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar in the latest fixture of Matchweek 14 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23.
The Juggernauts could do the double over East Bengal FC with the reverse fixture resulting in a comeback victory for Josep Gombau's team. A brace by Pedro Martin and goals from Jerry Mawihmingthanga and NandhaKumar Sekar helped the team after conceding two early goals in the first half.
Gombau shed light on the team's preparation for the fixture with the acknowledgement of how crucial the match is to ignite a good run of results for the Juggernauts. With a victory, Odisha FC can jump to the fifth spot on Hero ISL points table overtaking FC Goa, as the Goan side lost their fixture against Hyderabad FC on Thursday.
"The match against East Bengal FC is very important for us. I've told my players that it's a must-win match for us. It's going to be a difficult match because the other team (East Bengal FC) is performing well. The team is working hard and the team is preparing well and I hope on Saturday on a weekend day, we get the support in the stadium and together we can win this game," Gombai said.
"We are concentrating on the match. We know that it's an important match for us and three points mean a lot to us. In our last game here at home, we lost against Mumbai City FC. We played a very good game but Mumbai City FC is a very good side. Now it's the moment to come back to the winning mood. Everybody understands the importance of the game and we are ready for the challenge," he added.
Gombau's men would be relying on Diego Mauricio, who scored twice in the loss against Mumbai City FC. The Brazilian has scored five goals and provided three assists for the Juggernauts. Gombau expressed that Diego Mauricio is an important part of the team and he hopes that the forward plays a crucial part in the fixture.
"We expect all our players to deliver their best performances. In the last game Diego (Mauricio) was crucial for us by scoring two goals and I hope on Saturday he can keep the consistency and deliver for the job because the important thing is to score goals and for the team to win the game," the Spaniard said.
Gombau's men have an impressive home record with four out of six league wins coming at the home stadium. The head coach added how home support is crucial for the team and the atmosphere always helps the team.
"We want to tell the fans that we will bring our hundred and twenty per cent in every minute that we play in front of them. We need them to win games. Last week, we lost at home for the first time in the league but still, we felt the support, especially at the end of the game. Together if we want to achieve, the support and players have to be together. We always feel the support and we are very grateful for that. Tomorrow we hope to produce a great effort and win the match," he said.
The head coach was accompanied by midfielder Isaac Chhakchhuak in the pre-match conference. The midfielder expressed that he needs to contribute more to the team after scoring only one goal for the team which came in the first league match of the season.
"For my performance in the league, personally, I just need to give more. I scored in the first match and after that, I haven't been able to score again. I hope that I can do something on Saturday to help the team get the three points," he said during the pre-match press conference.
Isaac joined Odisha FC in 2021 from Jamshedpur FC and spoke about how he has adapted to the style of play under Gombau and the targets he has set for himself and the team. The midfielder thanked the fans for the support and urged them to come and support the team in Saturday's fixture.
"Since he arrived, the style of play has been very tactical, with the ball and without the ball as well. As an attacking midfielder, the way we receive the ball, all the basic things we've improved under him and I enjoy playing this style of football here," he said.
"I want to thank all the fans for their support from the very first day and till today. We will need your support tomorrow also, please come and cheer for us" Isaac added.