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Indian Super League

Odisha up for the challenge, Hyderabad playing for pride

13:55 GMT 14/01/2020
Marcos Tebar Odisha Hyderabad FC
Odisha have given themselves a good chance to get into the playoffs with back-to-back wins...

With three wins in a row in the Indian Super League (ISL), Odisha FC have climbed to the fourth spot in the standings but head coach Josep Gombau remained cautious ahead of his team's thirteenth match of the season, against a struggling Hyderabad FC on Wednesday at the GMC Balayogi Stadium. 

"The most important thing for us is to go game-by-game. We will try to do our best in every single game. I don't want to put my players under pressure. We have a big squad. We're close to the top four but there are six games to go. We are treating every single game as a final. We worked hard and the boys are ready," Gombau said before the game. 

Hyderabad sacked Phil Brown earlier this week and announced Albert Roca as their new man-in-charge. However, he will only take over next season, with Mehrajuddin Wadoo taking over temporarily. 

"The new coach will be watching the game and the players will want to prove in front of the coach. They will try to win and it will be a challenging game for us," Gombau said.

Hyderabad's interim coach Wadoo believes his players will be playing for their pride in the upcoming games. The Nizams are at the bottom of the table with five points from 12 matches. 

The Indian coach said, "It is a difficult point of the season. The manager was released in the middle of the season and we are bottom of the table. Everyone knows we can't be at the top of the table (at the end of the season). The season sop far has been unfortunate for the fans, management and the players.

"The next six games, all the players will play for their pride and prestige. They know we are not going to make it to the top four. They want to give their best."

With Roca set to take full control from next season, Wadoo said the club is keen on improving the squad. Hyderabad's latest signing is Liston Colaco from FC Goa

"He (Colaco) is a good player. it is very early for me to judge someone who has not been training with the club. I wish him all the best. They are trying to build a team for next season."

Wadoo conceded that it has been difficult for the players in the last few days but praised their attitude. 

"Phil Brown tried his best, every game is different. Very difficult for the players when the manager leaves in the middle of the season. Players' approach has been fantastic. Upcoming games are very important in terms of pride."