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Josep Gombau admits Odisha pitch is poor after crucial win over Mumbai City

18:24 GMT 11/01/2020
Josep Gombau Odisha FC ISL 6
The Odisha coach touched on the importance of playing at home after making it three wins out of three at the Kalinga stadium...

Odisha FC have broken into the top four in the 2019-20 Indian Super League (ISL) with a hat-trick of wins at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

Following the 2-0 win over Mumbai City FC on Saturday, courtesy strikes by Aridane Santana (47') and Xisco Hernandez (74'), Odisha head coach Josep Gombau dedicated the win to the home support.

"We are so happy to play here, in front of our fans. I think that we started this journey at Odisha very well and we won three games in a row. This shows how important it is for our team to play at home. Today we got a very good crowd with 8,000 people and we want to share this win with them because they also helped us to get this win," he stated.

However, the state of the pitch at the Kalinga stadium has been in the news recently for the wrong reasons and it was the same on Saturday as well, with the players struggling to string passes together.

"It's obvious that the ground here is not in the best of conditions but we are forced to play here because we need to play at home. The grass needs more time to be more consistent. We play and we adapt. A good thing is that we don't play here for the next 10 days and in that time the people can work on the field and probably for the next game at home (the pitch) will be in a better condition," he conceded.

Asked if it part of his strategy to allow Mumbai City FC to attack in first half, the Spaniard replied, "I think that we (Odisha) controlled the game during both halves. In the first half, we didn't create many chances. I think think we played consistently and in the second half, the early goal gave us more confidence and we scored the second goal." 

Having to travel to travel to Hyderabad (Jan 15) and Bengaluru (Jan 22) before returning to Odisha towards the end of the month, Gombau urged his side to stay focused.

"Every game is different. Now we have six more games in front of us. I think it's important to go game by game and we have now two away games. I think the team is doing well. We are working hard. We need to be focused and play. From tomorrow our focus will be on the game against Hyderabad."