Josep Gombau: We have lost momentum in our last few matches

Odisha FC suffered their third straight loss in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20, as they slumped to a 3-1 loss against ATK at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Saturday. The loss leaves Josep Gombau's side five points off the top four with just two league matches remaining.

At the post-match press conference, Gombau analysed the game and said, “I think in the first half we did quite well. The game was very even. In the first half, there were no chances for ATK and no chances for us. But in the second half, we conceded from a set-piece. It is something we don’t expect four minutes into the second half. After that, because of our situation in the table, we needed to win, and so we went to press higher and in transition, they scored the second goal. It psychologically affected the team.”

The Odisha head coach went on further to add, “But after that, I made some changes. We played three at the back, trying to attack more. I am satisfied. In the last 20 minutes, we did quite well. In the last few games, we have lost momentum. And when you play against very good teams, they have the quality to punish you. Sometimes you make the same mistakes in other games and they don’t end in a goal.”

Despite the scoreline and Roy Krishna’s magnificent showing for ATK, Gombau expressed satisfaction with his players and felt they’ll only get better with more experience. “Normally, when you have top quality players, it is easier. From the bottom of my heart, I am happy with my young players because everybody brings everything they have. We have a very young squad. ATK have more experienced players,” he stated.

“These games are decided by small details. I am satisfied. As a coach, you want to win and this is what really all people will see. But also, I need to see how my players are improving, how my players are playing. And I am happy. Even though we lost today, they showed character. They will grow and grow,” added Gombau.

Finally, the 43-year-old praised the performance of striker Manuel Onwu and concluded, “I think that we cannot complain about Onwu. He has already scored three goals in two games. I think that for a player who came in, in the last minute, he is doing well. We are truly satisfied. He is showing to himself and to everyone that he is a good player.”

Read the Match Report here.

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