The Odisha FC head coach heaped a lot of praise on Isak Vanlalruatfela.

Odisha FC were held by FC Goa at the Kalinga Stadium in a crucial ISL 2022-23 fixture. The teams shared the spoils after playing out a 1-1 draw. Both sides will find positives from the draw as Odisha played a chunk of the second half with ten players while FC Goa was away from home. With this draw, the top six race becomes even more interesting as Bengaluru FC actively enters the fray. After the match, Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau attended the post-match press conference.

Edited excerpts from the conference are as follows.

Plenty of chances but no finished product

Coach’s reaction to the game

Josep Gombau expressed his feelings regarding the game at the presser. He was disappointed over not being able to get all three points that the game had on offer. He said, “We are a bit disappointed. We played very well in the game, especially in the first half. I am not saying that we deserved to win because at the end we played with ten men for 30 minutes when Goa got a lot of chances. But during XI vs XI, especially in the first half, the game belonged to us.”

The Spaniard continued, “We cannot do a mistake like the one we did in the first half. The opposition team beat you and you concede a goal, that is understandable. But we gave the ball to them in an easy situation in the first minute. After that, we had to chase the game.”

On the team’s performance

At the presser, Gombau shared his thoughts on his team’s performance. At the same time, he gave a small glimpse of how they are seeing the upcoming games.

“I think the first half was very good and the players played well. We deserved to score a goal and we scored also. Then we had some chances, also in the second half. After we went down to ten men, it became more difficult. We think at this moment, what is important is not to lose. We are thinking that there are three more games. We need to work hard. Two games are at home and one away. If we play with this intensity, I am sure we can get more points. I will see where we are at the end of the season.”

On the performance of Isak Vanlalruatfela

Josep Gombau evaluated Isak’s performance and heaped a lot of praise on the young winger. The mentor emphasized the youngster’s hunger and desire to improve. At the same time, Gombau reiterated the reason for his absence from the team.

“He is doing very well. He is a player whom we liked a lot at the very beginning of the season. He is a young player and he played very well. Just when he was beginning to get regular in the starting XI, he had a familial issue. He had to leave the club for a while. First, he played at Hyderabad away and he did very well for 20 minutes. Then we were getting him into the first XI when he had to leave the club. Then he was not with us for three months. Now, he has come back and we are happy to have him back. He is a player with a lot of potential. He can help us. The most important thing is that he has solved his problem and now he is with us.”

On the game against Hyderabad FC and missing Thoiba Singh due to a fourth yellow card

On the game against Hyderabad FC, the head coach asserted, “We need to get points. It will be like today. We need to be strong and we need to do well. I think we can do it.”

On missing Thoiba Singh, the mentor said, This is football. We will miss him. Hyderabad will also miss their right back. Our bench is strong. We have players to replace other players. They will do well in place of Thoiba.”

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