Chennai: Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau expects his side to make a turnaround and find themselves in the top six when they take on Chennaiyin FC in the upcoming Indian Super League (ISL) fixture at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Thursday.
After two successive away defeats to Bengaluru FC and ATK Mohun Bagan, Gombau will be eager to get back to winning ways against Chennaiyin FC to break into the top six.
“We’re in the position where we cannot miss our chances. With only five games left in the season, this (game) is all or nothing for us. We all are focused on this (game) and everyone is working very hard to get into the playoffs. Last game, we didn’t get the result but it’s not like the team is not working hard, or not playing well. It’s football, sometimes the results come to your side and sometimes not,” Gombau said during the official pre-match press conference.
In their recent games, the Kalinga Warriors were seen struggling to make much of an impact in the final third. Gombau stated that his side is highly motivated and he doesn’t see any attitude issues in his side.
“We didn’t win against two big teams away (recently). I don’t see any game in which we performed poorly. I never thought that the attitude of the players is not good. I saw everybody fighting, and running, so I cannot blame anybody for their attitude. Indeed, there were mistakes but we need to learn (from them).
In the reverse fixture, Odisha FC beat Chennaiyin FC 3-2 at home. Diego Mauricio, Nandhakumar Sekar, and an own goal from Vafa Hakhamaneshi guaranteed three points for the hosts. With both teams still in contention for a playoff berth, Gombau revealed that this game will be quite different from the previous encounter but believes they have enough strength to play right away against Chennaiyin FC.
“I think it will be a very equal game since they are also fighting for a spot in the playoffs, normally when you have this kind of game it is a lot of respect from both sides. In this game, whoever handles the pressure better, who has a better mentality, will have more to say. But it is the moment for the players to step up and show that they are ready to deal with this kind of situation,” he said.
“As coaches, and as footballers, we need to deal with this as we have a responsibility towards the club and because this is our job. It’s not just training, it is also about competing. And I think that is what we will bring tomorrow to Chennaiyin FC,” the Spaniard added.