The head coach expressed his bitter-sweet emotions following the defeat against ATK Mohun Bagan

Josep Gombau’s Odisha FC’s fabulous and historic Indian Super League season has come to a bitter end, as the coastal whites have tasted defeat at the hands of ATK Mohun Bagan. The game was pretty end to end, and both teams played pretty great football, but ATK simply took their chances whenever they were presented with one, and that is what made all the difference in the end.

Odisha’s defence completely turned off for ATK’s first goal, and the start-studded trio of Dimitri, Manvir and Hugo combined wonderfully and punished the away contingent. Odisha thereafter tried their very best to score their equaliser, but they just missed that final bit of quality in the 18-yard box.

The game was however put to bed when some sloppy passing by Odisha presented ATK with a great opportunity, which was classily exploited by Dimitri Petratos, to make the scoreline 2-0, and seal their spot into the final 4. As for Odisha, the Juggernauts should be very proud of themselves and should lift their heads up, and be happy about the brilliant season that they have had.

After the agonising defeat, Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau spoke to the media. This is the crux of the conversation.

What went wrong?

Odisha made a great start to the game, but their confidence somewhat declined with each passing minute, as they conceded, and were also not able to take up their chances. When asked about his opinions as to what went wrong, Gombau had this to say

“I think we had a good game. In the first minute, our team played well and we had a good chance to score with Diego early on. After that, we conceded from an early corner and it was something that we spoke about, we lost our concentration for a small time and we conceded the goal.”

“In the second half, we tried and in one of our actions, they got the ball and scored from that. I left the stadium with sadness because we lost, but I think we had a good team. Can’t say anything to my players. I want to be positive about the season about how far we came. ATKMB is a very good team who played very well, I want to congratulate them.” He added

“They are a very good team and have experienced quality players. It was a good football game, both teams tried to attack but ATKMB had very good players. I think the difference was the experience. We’ve got a lot of young players in the squad.” He concluded

What did you gain from this season?

Though this season has come to an end for the Juggernauts, they can be very optimistic for the next season and can level up in terms of their quality and play.

“Now this is a moment to rest from this loss. After this, we have a week where everyone gets off. After that, we’ll prepare for the Super Cup and wait for the draw. The players will need to play that and we’ll take that very seriously whenever we play a game. We’ll try to progress in the SUper Cup, its a good competition and also a moment to play more games for our players. We will try to win there.”, Gombau said when asked about the gains from this season

Areas to improve

When asked if he thought of any areas he could work on for the upcoming Super Cup, Gombau answered by saying the following.

“It’s not the area, I think we’ve had a decent season. We need to cut our mistakes, one mistake is our lack of concentration, defending set-pieces and with out build-up play. [Odisha] have good buildup play but the opponents often get the ball from us. We need to improve these.”

Is the Team too dependent on Mauricio?

On several occasions, it seems as if the team is heavily dependent on the services on Mauricio at the front. When asked regarding the same, the gaffer replied by saying

“I don’t think like this. We have players who can score goals apart from Mauricio. I think we’ve had a good pool of players who are important for us.”

Who Gombau thinks will win the Semi final fixture between ATK and Hyderabad

When asked about the team he thinks will make it to the final, Gombau said:

“Both are very good teams. They deserve their best. The best team will win that. I cannot give my prediction on that.”

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