The mentality and togetherness helped us win the game: Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau

Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau lauded his side’s mentality as the real winner as his side managed to pull off a late comeback against Jamshedpur FC in a 3-2 victory in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur, on Tuesday.

The Red Miners struck two goals within the opening ten minutes from Daniel Chima Chukwu and Boris Singh before Diego Mauricio’s brace and Isak Vanmalsawma closed the proceedings for the night and handed a defeat to the Aidy Boothroyd-coached side.

Odisha FC score two late goals to edge Jamshedpur FC in a thriller

Gombau revealed that his side’s cohesive display struck out throughout the game along with their fighting spirit that won them the game late against the former Hero ISL League winners. With three points in the bag, the Spaniard wants his team to approach upcoming games in a similar fashion.

The 46-year-old attended the official post-match press conference after his side’s victory against Jamshedpur FC.

Here are the excerpts from his press conference:

What are your views on your side’s victory against Jamshedpur FC?

We started with a lack of concentration in the first ten minutes and it was very difficult but gradually we started getting involved in the game, and I think we finished the first half quite well. At half time, I said to the boys that the mistakes in the first half cannot happen again and that we have to create several chances and believe in ourselves that we can relax, score, and win the game.

It’s productive of what we came out and did today. All the players who came on from the bench made an impact and they did everything (in their capacity) to win the game for us.

How did you celebrate in the dressing room after winning the game?

No, it’s just a game. It’s our first game of the league, so not a big celebration. I just want to say to the players that I’m happy for them and I’m proud because this mentality is strong as we came back stronger to win the game. But it’s football, you can take the win home but you have to shift focus on to the next game.

The odds were against Odisha FC as it was raining. So, what mental preparation did you and the boys go through as they went on the pitch?

In the beginning, we thought that it was very difficult to play as the pitch was extremely wet. We thought that the ball cannot roll, and in the initial 15-20 minutes, I told them to not exert themselves so much, but during these minutes we conceded the goals. After this, the pitch became dry and it allowed us to play more of the kind of football that we wanted to play, to build up from the back and play good (football) up top and I think we did very well.

Who stood out as the best player in the match for you?

For me, it was the team. It was the mentality of the team, great awareness, we were strong, everybody believed (that they could win) and we played together as a team. Together, we made a comeback and scored two beautiful goals. I will not take names, but Isaac came from the bench and scored a goal which is very great for a player coming on from the bench, but again, I don’t want to say he’s the player who won for us, it’s the team.

Is this the sort of team where we can expect Odisha to play more on the offensive?

Yes, we are a team that has the offensive mentality and we want to have the ball and this is the way we want to play (going forward). Today, in the very beginning, it was difficult for us to implement our playing style, and we decided to play our game later on and it paid off for us. However, this is the way we want to approach this season.

You said in Mumbai that fans will play an integral role for their respective teams this season. So, how intimidating was it for you to win against a team with such fighting spirit?

I think it is amazing to see fans that wait for an hour as it was raining heavily and they had to wait for the rain to stop for the game to begin. I want to congratulate them. Even when we were the away side, we had the respect from the fans and this is a good thing as the football culture in India is growing and fans have a huge role in the game. Games like today, they came and witnessed five goals, it helps them to enjoy the game and in doing so would want them to come back even more. We, as coaches, want to play good football to assure that the people can engage in the game and we can make it a good time for them here (in the stadiums).

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