Odisha FC always play with a good attitude: Head coach Josep Gombau

Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau is pleased to be known as the comeback kings of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 after their back-to-back comeback wins. Odisha FC will welcome Chennaiyin FC to the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar when they lock horns against each other on Thursday.

The coach pointed out the importance of adapting to the situation depending on the opponents and lauded his players for the strong mentality they possess after coming back to win games. He even spoke about how it is always an advantage to play in front of the home crowd and is glad to have a good record at Kalinga Stadium.

The Spaniard was accompanied by team defender Narender Gahlot while speaking to the official pre match press conference:

Here are the excerpts from Josep Gombau’s press conference:

After a good win against East Bengal FC and comeback at the Salt Lake stadium, how is the mood in the camp?

Gombau: We are excited to play in front of the fans on Thursday. It is an important game, as everybody can see. It is a very tough week with a lot of teams involved. This is a league where any team can beat the other teams, and we will try to play the game well. It will be a top game. I will ask my players to concentrate, to avoid simple mistakes, and most importantly, to put forward a good performance and try to win because if we win that will be a big step.

Depending on the points table, are there any specific plans or strategies for the game against Chennaiyin FC considering how they have played so far in the season?

Gombau: Every single game we have our own way to play the game, depending on the opposition team we adjust ourselves on how to adapt, the way that we press and as a single game we will prepare in the same process.

Chennaiyin FC have a very good squad with a very good coach. It will be difficult. We played a friendly game before the start of the season, which was a tough fixture, and on Thursday, we will try to defeat them. We have our own plans to try and minimise what they want to do and take advantage of it.

Are there any injury concerns in your team? Any update on Michael Soosairaj and Shubham Sarangi?

Gombau: It is always a problem when you have to play games in a short period of time. We have a few players who are not 100% fit, but we have a deep squad. The players who did not start are doing well. Last week, for example, we started with the first eleven and made four changes after halftime. Players who came off the bench made an impact, and we won the game, this shows that every single player can play.

Victor Rodriguez has come back from an injury and is recovering very well. He has a lot of quality and hopefully stays fit, as he is a very important player for us. Soosairaj and Shubham are out of Thursday's game, both are unlucky, and these are the three injuries we have in the squad. All the other players will train and do their jobs.

The home venue has always been good for Odisha FC. So, what is the reason behind the team's enjoyment of this stint? Is it because of the conditions or the supporters?

Gombau: There is always an advantage when you play home and away games. We feel comfortable here, and we are happy to play in front of the fans. The fans always bring that extra energy when the team is tired and help you complete the job. This fact about playing in front of the home fans is very good, and I hope we can win on Thursday.

Odisha FC has been dubbed the "comeback kings." What do you have to say about that?

Gombau: The important thing is to win the games that we are playing. It is always better to start well and score first while having more stability. We start the games a bit slowly and concede first, but after that, we show a strong mentality to comeback and win. It is again important to hold on to the game until the end, but we will try to start strong in the next game.

Talking about the mentality, what do you tell the players in the dressing room?

Gombau: We are the coaches, and we do our job, but the players are those who are playing and trying to win the game. We speak about how we can do better, we are a good team that can beat the opposition. I tell them to relax and do their job well, take the right decisions with the ball. But, it is more about the mentality the boys have because they know that in this league, we are not worse or better than most of the teams. If they concentrate, then we will win the games, and I am sure the team always plays with a good attitude.

Here are the excerpts from Narender Gahlot’s press conference:

What will you say about your journey so far under Josep Gombau?

Gahlot: I have got to learn a lot of things under the coach. In the pre season and the Durand Cup as well, we are learning from the coach on and off the field, so I will always try to give my 100% and am happy to play under him.

What are your thoughts on the support you get from the home fans and the stadium?

Gahlot: I had a really good experience playing in this stadium, once in the I-League with Indian Arrows in the past. The fans keep supporting us until the final whistle, and the experience is really good.

Since two games you have come into a new position on the right side. Is there anything particular that you add, and have you settled in well in the new position? What are your thoughts going into the game tomorrow?

Gahlot: It depends on the coach, he trusts me as a centre back and right back. I am really happy to be able to play in any position. We have to start on a positive note in the next match, and we will try to go for the win.

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