We had the confidence that we could win: Odisha FC's Josep Gombau
Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau stated that his side had the confidence to overturn the game in their favour and win it despite trailing by a goal at half-time against Kerala Blasters FC, as they won their first home game of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Kalinga Stadium, in Bhubaneswar, on Sunday.
Harmanjot Khabra’s header gave Kerala Blasters the lead heading into the break but goals from Jerry Mawihmingthanga and substitute Pedro Martin sealed a comeback win for Odisha FC at the Kalinga Stadium.
Gombau also felt his side could have scored more goals but was satisfied with the result.
Here are the excerpts from his post-match press conference:
How does it feel to get a win?
We are so happy to get a win in our first home game (of the season) here at the Kalinga Stadium with a good result, which is something difficult in this league because all teams are quite good. Kerala Blasters FC are a very good side. We won this game and we are very happy.
What was the mood in the dressing room at half-time as the team was training?
We were playing quite well and we conceded from a set-piece. We came into the changing room in the first half and we discussed a few things that we needed to do better. We had the confidence that we could bring back the result (in our favour) and win the game.
Thoughts on your substitutes?
You don't win games or you don't win any trophy just with 11 players. We are 25 players, and depending on the game, we are using one or the others. Today, the players that came in the second half, made a good impact. I think that this is the spirit of the team that everybody can play, and when a player comes off the bench, it is to improve things on the pitch.
Do you think your team had more possession throughout the game?
It was fairly equal. Both teams played a little bit differently. They are more direct than us and we expected them to press us a lot, because this is the way that they play. We worked a few attacking movements to try to beat them. In the first half, we didn’t work as much as we had prepared because they came and pressed higher up the pitch. They were in a mid block and it was difficult for us, but in the second half we needed to change the result and we started to have more of a wall. We created chances and we scored the two goals. In the first half, we had two-three chances, but we couldn’t convert them while they did it.
Across the three games, there have been different shifts in how Odisha FC aggressively approach the game. Are you being specific in your approach according to the game or does it depend on the situation?
We go game by game. It’s true that we have played some strong opponents across these three games at the very beginning. But watching these games, I think all the teams are strong and good. I don't see a big difference between teams and anybody can beat anybody. All the games have been fairly equal and have been decided by very small details. Now we have to work on these details to ensure the results end up on our side. We will enjoy this win, and we will prepare for the next game.
Do you think that your side could have scored more goals?
It's not easy to score goals. We were unlucky in the first half. We had a couple of corners from which we almost scored. Prabhsukhan Gill made one save at the beginning of the second half and we came close to scoring. We had five-six chances and it’s not easy to create these many chances. We scored two and we need to be satisfied.
Any specific lesson that you take going into the next home game?
No, every game is different. Now we face Bengaluru FC and they are a team that performs so well. They beat us in the Durand Cup and now it’s time to do one over them and take out the feeling from the Durand Cup quarter-final when we lost in the 120th minute. The players need to take this hunger that we have inside and win the game.
A word on the fan support in the Kalinga Stadium?
It’s very important to play at home. It gives you power when the fans are helping us and encouraging the team to play. Sometimes when you are exhausted and tired, the fans bring you this extra power that you need to make the last effort.