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We and Mumbai City have same philosophy, says Josep Gombau

Published at :October 15, 2022 at 12:56 AM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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(Courtesy : ISL Media)

Souvari Paul


The Odisha FC head coach also shared the reason behind signing goalkeeper Amrinder Singh.

Odisha FC are set to play their second game of the season against Mumbai City. This is going to be their second consecutive away game, winning the first against Jamshedpur FC in Jamshedpur in a dramatic manner. With many positive takeaways from the first game, head coach Josep Gombau looked confident about Saturday's game in the pre-match press conference. Alongside coach Gombau, defender Shubham Sarangi also attended the press conference.

Here's what they had to say one day before the game.

On how the impressive win in their first match affected the team

Gombau emphasised on the fact that their win in the first match proved to be a an excellent way for beginning the league season. He explained how it boosted the team's morale. He said, "We started the league good in Jamshedpur. We won our first game. Every single game is very important. We get here knowing that we are facing a very good side. Mumbai City is a very strong team. They have very good players. We have come here to try to win. I think the game will be very equal. It will be a very good game because both teams try to attack. We have some very good players in our squad. I think it will be a very nice game tomorrow."

On his team's philosophy

Josep Gombau reiterated that Odisha will play a clinical attacking brand of football as this is his team's core philosophy. He asserted, "We are an attacking team. We have an attacking mentality. I prefer to win 5-4 than 1-0 because we also have the responsibility to make the people who come to the stadium enjoy. In a country like India where football is not the biggest sport, we need to make the people come to see our game, enjoy, and feel that they want to come back.

"I see Mumbai City has the same philosophy. They are inside the City Group, which is an amazing brand of football. For them (City Football Group), top of the ice is Manchester City, which has its own style with an amazing coach. We try to play attacking football. Tomorrow two teams will face who love to have the ball, who want to attack, and I predict a nice game," he added.

On Amrinder Singh's addition to the team

When asked the reason behind bringing in Amrinder Singh as their primary goalkeeper despite him having a bad season with ATK Mohun Bagan last year, Gombau asserted that in terms of class, Amrinder is one of the best in his position right now in the country.

He quoted, "Tomorrow we have three players who were in Mumbai, Raynier, Amrinder, and Diego Mauricio. They are excited and they want to prove themselves against their last team, especially Raynier and Diego (Mauricio). You asked me about Amrinder. When we planned for our squad, we did not think about Amrinder as our goalkeeper was with us in that moment. In the last minute, before the Durand Cup, he (Kamaljit) left.

Josep Gombau explained, "We had this spot available, and we wanted to have a goalkeeper with experience. We have a very young goalkeeper, Niraj. We have a very good number two, Ralte. But we needed a goalkeeper and suddenly came the opportunity to bring Amrinder with us. I think he doesn't need any presentation. Amrinder is one of the best goalkeepers in India. He has played more than 150 games in the ISL."

"In the moment, we were searching for our goalkeeper and he was in the situation that he wanted to come on board. Then came the opportunity to have him and we are so happy to have him. He is very professional. He is working with anything that would help out the team. We like it and we are happy to have him," added the Odisha FC boss.

On how the fans have influenced the games so far

Odisha head coach seemed ecstatic about the return of fans to the stadium after two years. His excitement was clear from his words. He said, "For sure, fans play a big part in football. Football without fans is nothing. For COVID, we played two years without fans not just in India, but around the world. Now, the fans have come back to the stadiums. I think this is best thing for this season. The players need fans, the coaches need fans, football needs fans. We are very happy to go back to normal and to play with fans (in the crowd).

"Here in India, football is growing. Everyday, there are more fans in the stadiums. We played Tuesday in Jamshedpur where many fans came even though the weather was bad. One thing is that, in India, the fans like football and they support football with everybody. Even if you play away, you don't think there is pressure and you see this as a nice thing. I hope tomorrow the stadium will be full and we can have a nice evening and win the game," asserted Josep Gombau.

Shubham Sarangi on dealing with Mumbai's attacking midfielders

When asked about their approach to stop Mumbai's midfielders from scoring, Shubham asserted that they have a plan in place for stopping the opponents. He said, "We have our plans to defend them and how to attack against them. So, we will try to execute them and give them a tough fight. That's what I can say. And as you said, their midfielders are good. We respect them. We also have to perform at our very best to give them a tough fight."

Shubham Sarangi on Odisha FC's playoffs aspirations

In reply to a question probing Odisha's approach before the onset of the league, Shubham said that they are very hopeful about reaching the playoffs. He quoted, "As coach has already said, we have a very good team. All the players are working very hard. We just want to take each game as it comes and give our best. We feel we can give a tough fight to all the opponents in ISL and reach the playoffs. As a team and as a player, we will just work hard in every single game to get the best results that we can achieve. We are looking forward to all the matches."

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