Josep Gombau is one of the best in the league: Odisha FC's Pedro Martin
In the Hero Indian Super League 2022-23 season, few teams have gained more points from the losing position than Odisha FC. Pedro Martin, the Spanish striker has orchestrated two of those comebacks for the Juggernauts. The first was against Kerala Blasters FC at home, Martin came on as a substitute and scored the winner at 86th minute, scoring a screamer after an excellent first touch. In the game against East Bengal FC, Odisha FC were trailing 0-2 at the half time, but in Odisha FC's favor, the lightning struck twice as Martin came on as the substitute once again and scored a brace, propelling his team to another comeback win.
Martin has played all 14 matches for Odisha FC, while scoring three goals for the team. Despite struggling with results off late, the Kalinga Warriors are placed sixth in the Hero ISL after 22 points from 14 games. Martin revealed that it was easy for him to adapt to the philosophy of Gombau and that he is enjoying himself on and off the field.
"Josep (Gombau) is a very good coach, one of the best in the league. I feel very comfortable playing under his system. Playing as a striker, I am extremely comfortable in his system," he said in an interview with Khel Now.
"My teammates and all the other boys help me a lot in everything. My teammates are very funny and I am very happy to share my time with my teammates and the Indian people," he added.
Since their inception in the 2019-20 season, Odisha FC have not made it to the Hero ISL playoffs. During the 2020-21 season, the club finished at the bottom of the table and last season, Odisha FC started well but couldn't make into the top four as they finished in the seventh position with 23 points. The Spaniard was aware of this situation and explained how they are trying their best to change the fortunes of the club in this season.
“I think Odisha FC is an excellent team in the Hero ISL. The team works very hard. Last year, the season did not go well for Odisha FC. Hence, this year, the club is working harder than how it did last time," he commented.
Odisha FC's recent form is a cause of concern. The Juggernauts have won only one out of their last five games. However, Martin was assured that the team can work it's way back to the top and achieve bigger things.
“I think it is possible to get to the top of the table. If that does not happen, we will still play in the playoffs and win in the playoffs. I am claiming this because I train with my teammates every day. Our team has very good quality and we are aware of the importance this season has for us,” he concluded.