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ISL 2019-20: Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau - Everything fell in place against Mumbai City FC

3:01 AM GMT+8 01/11/2019
Mumbai City vs Odisha FC
The Odisha FC coach praised Jerry Mawihmingthanga, who was adjudged the Hero of the Match ....

Odisha FC defeated Mumbai City FC 4-2 to claim their first win of the 2019-20 edition of the Indian Super League (ISL). After defeats to Jamshedpur FC and NorthEast United FC, the pressure was mounting on Josep Gombau to deliver.

The Spanish gaffer was delighted with the win but maintained that his team performed just as well against NorthEast but could not generate the same result. He also agreed that Mumbai had a congested fixture list which provided his side with an edge.

He said, “I think that we did well today. It was a very good opposition. I think in the last two games also we did well, despite not winning any games. I think we deserved at least one win before today. But it’s football and today everything fell in place. Also, I think that the run that Mumbai had – three games in seven days is something difficult to deal with.

“It is the way that we like to play and the way that we work. I like to play with open wingers, something that I have always done. Coming from Barcelona, it is usual to play a 1-4-3-3 and we are playing 4-2-1-3 because we have the right players for this. They are quick and are comfortable playing wide. I think they will grow as they are still very young. They are doing well and I’m very happy with them.”

Gombau lauded the efforts put in by the youngsters in the team, specifically Jerry Mawihmingthanga, who was adjudged the Hero of the Match. He spoke of his desire to see some of the players from his team play for India.

“Today I told them to do exactly what they did last week but not commit silly mistakes. We are doing well and we must keep working. I was very happy to see Jerry (Mawihmingthanga) get the Hero of the Match today. Today we had many young players like Shubham (Sarangi), Vinit (Rai) and Jerry. I will be happy if they play for the national team someday,” he said.

Odisha are on a stretch of away matches as their home stadium is getting readied. Gombau feels it will be eight or nine matches before they play their first home game. 

“I don’t think that it is just four away games, there will be more because our stadium is not ready. I think we will play eight-nine games away, which is not normal in football. But we have to deal with this before we move to Odisha."

ISL has received flak recently for the poor standard of refereeing. Bengaluru FC coach Carlos Cuadrat and Chennaiyin's John Gregory have been vocal about the quality of refereeing but Gombau has a different take on the issue.

“Firstly, I want to extend my support to the referees because what they do is very difficult. I think that every one that is involved in football must do it once. I tried and it’s very difficult. We should also see what tools are provided to these referees. Because I don’t know if these referees are professional referees or not, whether they have other jobs and become referees part-time.

“I am sure that if they get to watch videos, have someone from Europe train them, the level of the referees will go up, not in a week but in a year,” he concluded.