The Juggernauts registered their first win in four games of the league.

Josep Gombau’s Odisha FC put an end to their four-match winless streak in the Indian Super League (ISL) with an emphatic 3-1 win over East Bengal on Saturday. After falling behind to an early Cleiton Silva goal, the Kalinga Warriors roared back – with Diego Mauricio scoring another brace and Nandhakumar Sekar’s goal giving them a big win.

Gombau pleased to get back to winning ways

Josep Gombau was a happy man to get the win, as he remarked after the game and said: “We are so happy to get the win. I think it was a deserved win. We played a good win, we came back from an early goal and I think the players showed the strong mentality that they have. We need to be satisfied with this result.

“The win was much needed because we haven’t won for four games. I think we have been playing well even though we haven’t been getting the results in the last few weeks. A win will give us more confidence and now we have two away games upcoming, we take it game by game and we have an important game ahead. Today, we enjoy the win and tomorrow we start working towards the game against Bengaluru,” he added.

Special Praise for Saul Crespo and Mauricio substitution reason

The Spaniard also had special praise for Saul Crespo, who put in a solid shift in his return from injury. He stated: “For sure, Saul is a very important player for us. We missed him in the last three games. He’s come back and done very well. I’m happy to see him on the field again. It’s easier for us  when we have as many players as possible available. It also makes things more competitive in the squad and he did very well. We’re happy to have him with us.”

Josep Gombau was all praise for his goal-hero Diego Mauricio and even explained why he was substituted despite him being on a hat-trick. The Spaniard explained: “He did a fantastic job today with his two goals. I substituted him probably because I needed to give some minutes to Pedro (Matin) because he deserved it as well. He’s trained very well. I saw a lot of hunger in Pedro to score more goals, which is very good. Which is why I thought he also deserved to play more minutes today. Maybe it was my mistake to take Diego off that early and now after the game I think that I should’ve maybe waited a little longer before bringing him off.”

Thoughts on Bengaluru FC clash and Raynier Fernandes’ performance

Speaking about his thoughts on Odisha’s next game away to Bengaluru FC, the gaffer said: “We take things one game at a time. It’ll be a difficult game and we’ll go there with a mentality to try and get a good result. I think this win will give us confidence and also improve our tempo. Our objective is to qualify for the players and we want to win all the games. We have three more home games and four away. It’s important to go game by game. I think it’ll be a very tough game as Bengaluru FC are a very good team, but I think it’ll be a good game as well.”

Gombau had a lot of praise for Raynier Fernandes, who got two assists for Mauricio’s goal, saying: “He is doing very well. Again, as you see I subbed two players one who scored a brace and one who made two goals. I think we have teams in the field who are so good, and I’m so happy with Raynier. He’s such an important player for us.”

Gombau not totally happy with one aspect of Odisha’s performance

Finally, the Odisha FC manager expressed disappointment at how his side ended the game despite getting a big win. Josep Gombau said: “I’m happy about our performance for the first 65-70 minutes. After that, the team don’t play the football I expect of them. It was a game that finished in a different way than we wanted it to finish. So I’m happy to get the win, but not 100% happy with the way that we finished the game. We wanted to control the game better.

“Also the players who came from the bench need to bring more power and intensity. Not at all of them, but some of them. Victor (Rodriguez) did fantastic, but our performance in the last 20 minutes was something that needs to be addressed and we’ll work towards improving as a team,” he finished off with.

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