Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau is determined to prove the people wrong who feel ATK Mohun Bagan start as the favourites in the Knockout 2 match of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, in Kolkata, on Saturday. 

The Juggernauts who qualified for the playoffs for the first time are eager to write more history. 

“We have full confidence in our players. We are here to make noise and we will make a lot of noise in this stadium,” Gombau said during the pre-match press conference. 

“We came here with nothing to lose and a lot to win. A lot of people think that ATK Mohun Bagan have the advantage and that they will win. But we came here with a mentality to cause an upset, to show that we are a good team and to try to progress,” he added. 

Odisha FC have never beaten ATK Mohun Bagan and lost the league fixture in Kolkata. But the Spaniard believes the time may be right for the Juggernauts to record their first-ever win against the Mariners. 

“Every game is different. We played them twice. At our home, we were the better team and we deserved to win. Finally, it was a draw. In Kolkata, we conceded an early goal and it was difficult and it wasn't our day. We drew one, we lost one and it's now time to win,” he said. 

The season can already be regarded as a success for Gombau’s men who will play their first Hero ISL knockout fixture on Saturday but the 46-year-old wants more from his team. 

“We are very happy to be in the playoffs. It is very important for our club. We have never been in this situation. I feel our players deserve it. We had a consistent season and we are in the top six because we deserve it,” Gombau said. 

“Now is the moment to take the next step. Once you are here (in the playoffs) you want more,” he added. 

Gombau has urged his side to remain focussed and control every single detail of the match as he believes it will be the fine margins that will decide the outcome of this match. 

“Of course, ATK Mohun Bagan are a good team and we respect them a lot. It’s a knockout match so it won’t be easy,” the Spaniard said. 

“We came here to compete and the game will be decided by fine details. We are working on these details to ensure that the result is in our favour,” he added. 

Midfielder Thoiba Singh, who has been one of Odisha FC’s most improved players this season, accompanied Gombau at the pre-match press conference. He stressed the importance of playing this game with the right spirit. 

“We are very confident about the ATK Mohun Bagan match. They are a good team but we are good enough to compete against them. The team that wants it more will win the match,” Thoiba said. 

“Everyone is motivated. They are doing well in practice. We made some mistakes in the last match and we want to clarify those mistakes and be ready for the match,” he added.