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ATK v Odisha

Josep Gombau: Three of the top four teams in ISL spend a lot of money

1:35 PM IST 06/02/20
Josep Gombau Odisha FC ISL 6
The Spaniard is hopeful of making it into the play-offs this season...

Odisha FC have three matches to go before the end of the league stage of the Indian Super League (ISL). Gombau’s side need to pick as many points as possible in order to confirm their berth in the top four.

Up next is a game against ATK who are in sublime form having won their last three matches.

“We have a mathematical chance of getting into the top four and to achiev that we need to fight. Knowing that ATK is a good team and we will be playing away, it will be difficult. We are training to go there and play a good game, try and get a win. 

“We want to go game-by-game. Now we are concentrating (on the match) against ATK and after the end of this round, we will see what we need to do according to how other teams have done. After that we have two home games which is very important (because) we are doing quite well at home,” explained Gombau.

Odisha FC suffered their first defeat at the Kalinga Stadium last week when they went down 4-2 to FC Goa. Gombau pointed that certain refereeing decisions didn’t go in their favour which came to hurt his side.

“We are fighting to be in the play-offs and we lost the last game (4-2 against FC Goa) at home. So we need to learn but we also had some difficulties with refereeing decisions which didn't help us,” he mentioned.

The former Kitchee SC coach believes that there isn’t a massive difference of quality between the teams in the ISL.

“We know in which moment of the season we are in with three games to go. This is our last away game. In this league, there is not a big difference between the teams. If we concentrate, we can win every single game because we know what to do and how to win,” he reasoned.

Gombau is quite pleased with the performance of his squad, irrespective of whether they make it into the top four at the end of the league stage. He stated that three of the top four teams are reaping rewards of having a massive budget.

“Our performance this season has been great. We are among the youngest in the league. We bring a lot of young players in our first 11. After we shifted our base from Delhi to here (Odisha), we played nine games in the beginning away from home. Considering all this, we are still fighting to be in the top four. 

“Three of the teams in the top four are teams who spend a lot of money and bring big names and have a lot of experienced Indian players. Even if we don't make it to the play-offs, my opinion about season will not change. We are doing quite well and we are developing young players according to the philosophy of the club,” concluded Gombau.

New signing Manuel Onwu made a strong start to life in Odisha as he scored twice against FC Goa. He could have easily had a hat-trick had his goal not being wrongly flagged offside. The former Osasuna forward was pleased with the coaching staff at his new club and credited them for his performance. 

"I am feeling good and confident with the team's coaching staff. It's true that I was lucky to score two or three goals in my first game (for Odisha) but now it's important is how we prepare for the next game (against ATK) and if I can score, it will be good for the team," said Onwu.