The gap helped our players refresh their minds: Odisha FC's Josep Gombau

Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau cannot wait for his team to get back to winning ways after having a long time off during the week, but says it was a much needed break for the boys, especially after their recent defeat.

Odisha FC are set to take on East Bengal FC in of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium in Kolkata.

The Spaniard expects the game to be another high goalscoring event after this fixture has witnessed 28 goals in the previous four encounters.

Gombau also expressed gratitude towards Odisha FC's travelling fans and wants continued support throughout the season.

The Odisha FC head coach was accompanied by defender Carlos Delgado in the official pre match press conference of the Hero ISL.

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

How excited are you to come to Kolkata and get back to winning ways?

Gombau: After the game against Hyderabad FC, we had a long break. As you know, the league has 11 teams, and only 10 can play every week. We took our time to take some rest, and after some days off, we came back to training, and we are ready for tomorrow’s game.

The team is well prepared; we are excited to come to Kolkata and play in this stadium, and I hope we compete in a good game to get a good result.

How do you analyse your opponent in East Bengal FC?

Gombau: The results of the league are seen by everyone. This season in the Hero ISL, the teams are equal, and every single team can beat the other team.

East Bengal FC came out with a big result against Bengaluru FC, I think it is difficult to get points away from that stadium, and they are in great momentum currently.

On Friday, we will try to play good football, play the game the way we want, and try to get a result in Kolkata.

In the last four outings between the teams, 28 goals were scored. Are you expecting Friday’s game to be another goal scoring affair?

Gombau: There are a lot of games scored within these teams. The more goals scored, the better it is going to be for the fans in the stadium. I hope we can have a great game and that everyone enjoys it, with hopefully a favourable result.

Do you believe the defeat to Hyderabad FC came at the right time?

Gombau: We cannot choose the schedule. Every single team will have to go through this gap because every week there will be a team that will not be able to play.

We had a few days off, which is good to help refresh the minds of the players, and after that, we came back to train with a lot of energy and focus.

These types of moments will arrive, but we are clear on the way we want to play.

East Bengal won their second game of the season in the last week. What is your strategy while playing against them, especially on the attacking half of your team?

Gombau: As I said, every single team can beat anyone in the league. We have a lot of respect for East Bengal FC, who have won two games in the last four, both away from home. They must be excited to bring their game home on Friday, and our job is to try and stop that from happening.

We attack the way we want to play, and it is consistent with the football we want to show. We will try to minimise the opponent’s attacks during transitions and make sure they do not create many chances.

Any message to your fans coming to the stadium?

Gombau: We are very grateful to our fans who travel to watch the Hero ISL games for the support they provide us during the whole season. We work extremely hard before getting into the game, and we will try to channel the energy on the pitch on Friday to bring a good result.

Any injury update for the game against East Bengal FC?

Gombau: We have a couple of players who are injured. We have a very good squad, and every single player does their job well.

Here are the excerpts from Carlos Delgado’s press conference:

You will be playing in front of a good chunk of home fans in Kolkata. How much do you anticipate playing in front of them? What are your thoughts on East Bengal FC?

Delgado: I have watched every single game so far in the Hero ISL. On Friday, I am happy that it is going to be my first game in Kolkata.

We are happy to be back playing games since it has been a long time since we last played against Hyderabad FC, and we want to win against East Bengal FC on Friday.

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