We have the mentality to fight till the last minute: Odisha FC head coach Gombau

Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau hailed his team’s mentality as the Kalinga Warriors rallied to beat East Bengal FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, in Kolkata, on Friday.

Odisha FC found themselves trailing by two goals at the break, but registered a brilliant comeback in the second half as Pedro Martin’s brace and goals from Jerry Mawihmingthanga and Nandhakumar Sekar powered them to another comeback win. With their fourth win of the season, OFC now find themselves at fourth place with 12 points in their kitty.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Gombau said he was not completely happy with the performance of his team, but the OFC head coach praised the mentality of his side for the way they fought till the end in Kolkata.

Here are the excerpts of Gombau's press conference:

How happy are you with the win?

Gombau: I just arrived from the dressing room and I told my players that I am not so happy. The performance in the first half was not good. I think everyone but in football sometimes you need something else which is being brave and making good decisions in attack. We had a lot of days to prepare for this game as we had a long break. What we worked on in the training session was evident in the first half.

The second half was very disappointing, but we spoke inside (the dressing room at half-time) and I made four changes. We said that we could do it (turn around the result) and win the game. I said to my players that we can win the game. We needed to adjust a few things, and if the players believe (in themselves), we needed to change our mentality and show we can do it. We did that and we scored four goals. We had some chances. In the end, we deserved to win because we believed and we worked hard to do it.

What do you think about the way your opponents played?

Gombau: It was a difficult game for us. They were leading 2-0 at half-time. And as I said before, every league game will be difficult. We got the win, but they made it difficult for us.

This is Odisha FC’s third comeback win of the season. Is this something the team is making a habit of?

Gombau: This is the mentality that the team has. We have the mentality to fight till the last minute. Until the full-time whistle and when the game is over, I want my team to give their all on the field. We have bounced back in three games out of four, which shows the strong mentality that we have.

What do you think about Pedro Martin’s performance?

Gombau: He was very good. He played for 45 minutes and scored two goals in two minutes which allowed us to make a comeback in the game. He is doing well and we are happy. We know he has the potential. Pedro and Diego (Mauricio) are two different strikers, and depending on the game, we can play either one of them.

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