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Nothing to lose, a lot to win: Josep Gombau on ATK Mohun Bagan test

In the quest to reach the semi-finals for the first time, Odisha FC will take on ATK Mohun Bagan in the ISL eliminator.

Josep Gombau (Source: Odisha FC)

Josep Gombau (Source: Odisha FC)


The Bridge Desk

Published: 3 March 2023 11:45 AM GMT

Odisha FC is in uncharted territory as this is the first time that the side has qualified for the Indian Super League playoffs. They will have an uphill task in overcoming ATK Mohun Bagan, for whom this is business as usual, having been involved in the playoffs for the third season running.

"We are so happy to be in the playoffs. For our club, it is very important. The players deserve this. Once you are here, you want more. Why not win tomorrow and go to the next stage," Odisha FC coach Josep Gombau told the media ahead of the game.

"We have nothing to lose, and a lot to win, knowing that people think ATKMB have the advantage. We want to upset the people and show that we are a good team," he added.

While the Spaniard believes in his team to jump over the Green and Maroon hurdle, past performances paint a different picture. In the league stage, Odisha drew with the Mariners in their home match, while lost 0-2 in the reverse fixture.

"Every game is different. We faced them twice in the league stage and thought were better than them and deserved to win. In the game here (in Kolkata), we conceded a very early goal and couldn't recover. It is the moment to win now," a determined Gombau said.

In these one-off matches, the home advantage can very well be the deciding factor. However, the Juggernauts' coach is sure that his team is good enough to make some of their own noise at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan on Saturday.

"I'm confident in our players, and we are here to make noise. Tomorrow there will be a lot of noise in the stadium," the coach said.

Youngster Thoiba Singh, who's been involved in Odisha's every game in this season, has an important message for his team. "Everyone's motivated for tomorrow's match. Last game, we made some mistakes but we have corrected them. I'd tell my teammates to go all out," Singh said.

ATK Mohun Bagan coach Juan Ferrando re-iterated that their gameplan will not change, despite the match being an eliminator.

"Our plan is the same. It is one match, 90 minutes only, but we will continue the way we have been playing. It's good to not too many things, but will tweak some details," Ferrando said.

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