Odisha FC midfielder Raynier Fernandes said that his team are a different side under Josep Gombau, stating that the head coach has pushed each and every player to their maximum ability by injecting his winning mentality onto them.

The Juggernauts have had one of the best starts to the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) season, having won four out of six games that they have played so far in the Hero ISL 2022-23. Fernandes believes that the team’s ambition is no less than winning the Hero ISL League Winners’ Shield and then further go and lift the Hero ISL Champions trophy.

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“His mentality is a winning mentality. He wants us to be focused and concentrated on the match. He just wants to push the players so that we wake up and do it with him. It’s like he wants us to win every game, every training that we do, even if our training session is not going well he will still push. We as a team need to be at his winning mentality then we will grow as a team and we’ll be the best,” he said on the LFL Show. 

Having won the historic Hero ISL League Winners’ Shield and the Hero ISL Champions trophy with Mumbai City FC in the 2020-21 season, the midfielder had a lacklustre subsequent season with the Islanders and soon switched sides to Odisha FC in search of more playing time ahead of the 2022-23 season.

“I spent four years in Mumbai, so it was a bit challenging and different, moving away from the city. Joining a new club and trying to play their style of football. Since I came here, from the first day itself, the intensity of the training session was just too good for me,” the midfielder added.

Fernandes revealed how a shift in his position at Odisha FC made all the difference, stating that he is optimising his strength in the midfield role under Gombau.

“Last season, when I was in Mumbai, it was very different and it was difficult to adapt because I was mostly a winger and that was the style the coach wanted me to play, which was not my strength but I tried to do my best,” he added.

“Since I’ve come to Odisha FC, the coach has put me in midfield and from there, every training session, I’ve learnt a lot from the coach, the plan that he has, the push he gives to the players like what you have to do, how you have to receive the ball, what all you have to do after receiving the ball, and all these things I wanted to learn,” he said.

Having got an appearance in the Indian men’s senior national team, the midfielder is prepared to give it his all to make Odisha reach new heights and in doing so, fulfil his goal of returning back to the national team.

“Last season was not the best season for me because I didn’t have a lot of playing time, I was not there in the playing XI for most of the time, so it was very difficult for me to get back to the national team because of less gametime. It was difficult for me because I was not being watched or scouted during the last season, but I’m not giving up till I get back to the national team,” he concluded.