The Spaniard revealed that his side are confident going into the game against Bengaluru FC.

Bengaluru FC host Odisha FC in an all-important match, as the battle for a spot in the playoffs heats up. Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau along with player Martin Perez Guedes addressed the media in the pre-match press conference.

Odisha FC come into this game having won four games on the trot. Josep Gombau spoke about his side’s form and the challenge that awaits them against Bengaluru FC. “The last four games we have got four wins, which is something good. We know that tomorrow will be a very difficult game in Bengaluru. They are a top team, one of the best teams in the competition and not an easy stadium to get a win. But, we come with a lot of confidence, the team is doing well and we are getting good results.”

“In case we get a good result tomorrow, we can go ahead of Bengaluru and this is our aim. We come here with a lot of power and a strong mentality to try and win this game.”

On Bengaluru FC

The Spaniard shared his thoughts about the opposition team. “Bengaluru are a team that manage the game very well. If they score first, it’s difficult to come back because they don’t concede many goals. I think they are playing a bit more directly than before. Last year, I saw them with more combinations and now they play more and more direct football.”

“It’s important that we play our game, we also have our gameplan that we don’t change depending on which team we play against. We have clear instructions on how we need to approach the game and I think it will be a very equal game. We will have our chances, as we had in the first match when we played against them in Pune.”

On The Reverse Fixture

“We deserved more from that game, we lost 1-0, but we had chances to score. Bengaluru finished the game sitting at the back with six players trying to defend the result. This is the way we approach the game tomorrow, not thinking about playing away, being brave to play from the back. That is our football, playing good combination football, that is our philosophy and we try to be competitive,” stated Josep Gombau.

“We will defend, but we will defend as we do against other teams. Bengaluru have something that they are doing very well, that is set-pieces. For me, they are the best team in set-pieces, corners and free-kicks and it’s something that we need to have special attention on, to be sure that we don’t concede silly free-kicks, corners and have concentration to defend them properly. I feel we will have our chances and tomorrow can be an interesting game, nice game to play and in a good situation.”

Further, Josep Gombau spoke about how Odisha FC have surprised everyone this season, having progressed so far with a very young, yet confident squad. “We are not that big as Bengaluru FC, ATK or even FC Goa. But, we are a team that nobody expects at this time of the season, to be at this spot. Playing with a lot of young players, playing ten games away in a row, but we’re here. We dealt with all these facts, why not tomorrow, when we’re coming here missing two players. The boys are strong, confidence is higher.”

On Refereeing Standards In The League

Quizzed about the standards of refereeing in the league, he replied, “If you ask me about the standards, there are lot of mistakes, every week, different games. I’m bringing my opinion only because I was asked to, I never complain about any decision. To be a referee is very difficult. As a coach, if you try to referee a game, it’s not easy to take a lot of decisions in such short time. I accept mistakes as part of the game, sometimes they make a mistake that comes in our favour and sometimes against our side. I see this as something not in my control.”

“As coaches and players we need to try to help them to make their job easy. Sometimes, we don’t do it and there’s a lot of complaining. I feel embarrassed a lot of times when I see many players surrounding the referee, screaming at him. It’s something that just happens in India. In other countries, the players have more respect and the referees have more power to give a couple of yellow cards.”

“Here, I see things that I cannot believe, players are screaming at the referee’s face, touching the referee. For me, this is shocking and it’s not right. Referees need to have more power and need more respect and should send players off when there’s bad behaviour,” he concluded.

Moreover, Martin Perez Guedes spoke about his experience on combining with the Spaniards in the team and also shared his thoughts ahead of the fixture against Bengaluru FC. “It’s always very helpful to have players like Xisco and Marcos Tebar, who have experience of having played in this competition. But, we have to be focused in our game and try to get the most out of it.”

“We are feeling good and confident, but we’re humble and we know we have to work hard to give us chances to get three points,” he concluded.

Head-To-Head

Odisha FC and Bengaluru FC met for the first time earlier this season and the latter emerged winners with a 0-1 scoreline.

Team News

Odisha FC will miss the services of Vinit Rai and Nandhakumar Sekar owing to injury.

Probable Lineup

Arshdeep, Sarangi, Diagne, Delgado, Das; Fanai, Tebar; Jerry, Xisco, Daniel; Santana.

Broadcast

The game will commence from 7:30 PM IST on Wednesday and will be telecast live on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 HD. It will also be available to stream on Hotstar and Jio TV.