Odisha failed to get their elusive win over ATK Mohun Bagan and slips to seventh place with a game in hand.

Odisha FC suffered their second consecutive defeat to slip off the top six for the first time in the ISL season. They suffered yet another defeat at the hands of ATK Mohun Bagan in Kolkata on Saturday. It was a dominating performance from ATK Mohun Bagan who could have won the match with a bigger margin. Odisha looked toothless in almost every third of the game. This defeat, along with Bengaluru FC’s win on the same day, is a bad omen for the club as it saw Bengaluru overtake it on the points table to go to sixth place with Odisha relegated to seventh.

After the game, Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau attended the post-match press conference. Excerpts from the same are as follows.

Updates on Raynier Fernandes

Raynier Fernandes was injured in the 20th minute after a knock on the head. It saw him go out of the pitch. The gravity of the injury is not yet clear. Josep Gombau gave updates on the injury at the press conference.
“Raynier is now okay. He got a knock from an ATK Mohun Bagan player. He was not able to move his neck. Our doctor took him to the hospital and we got his report just now. He is fine.”

Coach’s reaction to the game

Josep Gombau expressed his thoughts on the game. He rued the mistake that cost his side the first goal. He said, “I think the game was a good game. I think we did a very silly mistake at the very beginning of the match due to which we conceded a goal. We lost a ball in the midfield which we should not have lost. This allowed them a transition through which they went 1-0 in the third minute. If you concede a goal in the third minute, you have to go and chase the game. I think if we want to be competitive, want to win, and want to be in the playoffs, we cannot make such mistakes.”

On Odisha not being able to defeat higher-placed teams

Josep Gombau stated that teams like ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City FC are ‘big’ teams with a lot of money and influence. Compared to them, Odisha FC is a relatively new side that is building from the scratch. He said, “ATK Mohun Bagan, Mumbai – they are big teams. We are a new team. We don’t have the power to sign as many players as ATK Mohun Bagan did in the winter transfer window. You are trying to put ATK Mohun Bagan and us on the same page. But the amount of money that we spend and the amount of money they spend are totally different.”

The tactician continued, “I think we are having a good season with the kind of club we are. We are fighting until the end to be in the playoffs. If you follow EPL, you get to see the difference between Manchester City and Aston Villa. But I don’t think we are doing anything wrong here. We are playing good football and competed in every game. I think my team is doing well. To come here, compete, and win, away from home, is not that easy.”

On Odisha FC’s current season

Gombau talked about Odisha’s current season at the presser. He asserted that despite resource constraints, the side is having a decent season and will be competing till the end for a place in the playoffs. He stated, “Odisha is having a decent season. We are competing and we will compete until the end to be in the playoffs. This is our aim. I cannot blame any player. We have a lot of young players, they are developing, and we are working hard. We are trying to play from the back and play a decent kind of football. This is the way we are.”

The mentor added, “I am proud of my team. I cannot blame anyone. But if you try to compare us with Mumbai, ATK Mohun Bagan, and Kerala Blasters, (it does not make any sense). How many Indian players of those teams play in the national team? I am a coach, not a magician.”

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