The tactician hopes that the team will do the right things to get a result against the Nizams. 

Odisha FC led by Josep Gombau started the 2022-23 Indian Super League season with a lot of zeal. With Josep Gombau back at the helm, the Kalinga Warriors are showing a lot of promise. They have secured three wins from their first four matches and are looking set to silence their critics this year. 

However, the upcoming clash against Hyderabad FC at G.M.C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium, Hyderabad on Saturday will be their toughest test. The reigning ISL Trophy winners are yet to taste defeat this year, winning three and drawing one of their first four games.

In preparation for the exciting clash against the Nizams, Josep Gombau interacted with the media along with Thoiba Singh. Here are the excerpts from the conversation:

Need to do the right things

Josep Gombau stresses the need to play to their strengths despite the tough opposition ahead of them. In this regard, he said, “It will be a nice game to play. They are a very good side. They are unbeaten this season which is a good challenge for us, to try to go there and win. I think it will be two teams and both of them trying to play characteristic football. They are consistent and are working together for the last three years and in my mind, it is a difficult game but also an equal game. If we do the right things, we can get the result.”

“We are working well all of the week, training hard. We know very well what we need to do, with the ball and without the ball. We’re showing all of this to the players. From the first day of this week, we were speaking about the winning mentality. It is not that we go there with any fear. We go there with a winning mentality and be brave. It is a good challenge for us to prove ourselves.” he continued.

Differences from last season

The tactician believes that the league has become stronger than last season and yet it is very equal in terms of competition. He was quoted as saying, “I saw a lot of differences. The league is growing by every year. I was here three seasons ago AND saw more high levels in the league, better footballers, and more ready-to-play. I think it is growing and every day this league is very good, I saw a very equal league where you can beat any team and any team can beat you.”

Playing at home

Odisha FC has won two games playing at home and the head coach believes it is important to get positive results playing in front of the fans. He said, “I think it is very important to play at home. When you play at home, you have an advantage. You are in front of your fans and the fans bring you extra power when you are tired…I hope that this good run keeps going and the next game we play at home, we can get a good result also.”

The game plan against Hyderabad FC

While talking about the strategy against an in-form HFC, Gombau said, “We have our own game plan which we do not change so much. It is true that depending on the opposition, we adjust things which is what we are doing now. I agree that Hyderabad is a good team but I also think that we can damage them and I see the game as equal. We go there with the mentality to try to win.

Thoiba Singh on his journey and playing under Gombau

The player is content with his journey with Odisha FC so far. He said, “In the first season in ISL, I got injured and the next season it was difficult to come back. It has been a good journey till now with Odisha, I am very happy.”

“It is very nice. As a coach and as a person he helped me a lot. We talked individually and he told me what he wants and expects from me. I think I should prove more and it will be good for me.” he explained.

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