O L Y M P I A C O S   1 9 2 5
O L Y M P I A C O S   1 9 2 5
Pre-match Press Conference ahead of the encounter against Levante

Pre-match Press Conference ahead of the encounter against Levante

Read below in detail quotes of our side’s head coach, MÍchel, and Pablo Contreras ahead of tomorrow’s fixture against Levante.


Is there any likelihood that Fuster might play? Our Greek colleagues told us that you have been preparing your squad during the week like you did with Real Madrid?

“Fuster didn’t make it in the squad for tomorrow. Today we selected the players for the squad and, since he’s been away from action for many weeks, we deemed better that he stays out. Although tomorrow’s encounter may look like a lot with those moments he had with Real. I do not want to discuss about the past. So, this is not the case. Mainly, they most likely don’t know what I am talking about, since they are too young”.

What should Olympiacos do in order to reverse the deficit?

“We must do exactly the opposite from what we did in the first leg. We must have more decisiveness and composure. Although we have a huge problem ahead, meaning not just the deficit but our opponent’s quality. Anything may happen in a match, things may turn out on our side. For instance, we may score an early goal, awarded a couple of penalties, have an opponent’s player dismissed… Anything may happen. Tomorrow, we must display a winning mentality; we should not enter the pitch as if we have already lost the match. We have to try and score as many goals as possible”.

During your time in Real, you have registered five major knock-outs. Does tomorrow’s fixture remind you of any particular match you gave as a Real player?

“Yes. What a side must do in order to reverse such a score is to think that it won’t score many goals unless it nets the first one! And we must also not forget that in tomorrows is a match in which we will seek all offensive options, but we must mind our defense as well. We must not concede a single goal”.

Apart from the actual difficulties set by the first leg’s 3-0, can you pinpoint a single thing that could help in your comeback? What messages do your players give you?

“Certainly, we have a huge advantage for tomorrow; and that is the fact that we are not the same team as we were the other day. What we displayed then had nothing to do with us. For me, this is an advantage. We took a great lesson and it turned out to have been very useful to understand the difficulties for tomorrow’s match. However, it is what we do that matters. Levante showed its best face and we failed to stand up to the occasion. So, we have our chances if we show our skills. It was a night that nothing went right”.

Playing in a packed stadium and knowing that Olympiacos has to win, do you believe that stress will affect your players and to what extent?

“Everything will be on our side. We will perform in beautiful stadium before our marvelous fans. So, there will be no excuse. All will be by our side. It’s not about the pressure, but the extra boost to our squad».

Are you thinking of using Cholevas as a left forward, as it was the case in European matches last season?

“Cholevas may feature tomorrow. He’s got the same chances with all other 18 players. For starters, our intention is that all players get their chances and play, and Cholevas is one of them. The only thing for sure is that he won’t be the goalie. I think…”

Who’s going to be the goalkeeper?

“Certainly not Cholevas; someone from the remaining two”.

Have you made up your mind for the starting eleven or will this happen the very last moment? Is there room for both Mitroglou and Djebbour in the line-up?

“I know what the 11 will be since the final whistle of the match against Xanthi. I won’t tell you who will play. The players will learn first. There is a chance that Mitroglou and Djebbour play together and they are both top-notch. But you are trying to have our squad disclosed for tomorrow…”

You have been a great player. Are matches like tomorrows, where one must exceed oneself, then ones that shape football heroes?

“In matches like this, it will certainly take some heroes to get the result we want. Let’s hope that these will be our forwards and, should we reach the penalty shoot-out, our goalkeeper”.

Do matches like this require a spirit of overwhelming attack or something more reserved?

“We need a strong offensive drive and intensity. We need to gain control throughout the match; to go forward in attack as many times as possible. We won’t make this unless we have control, because our opponent will strive for the same. Let us not forget that we have to face a side with a 3-goal advantage and with dexterity in waiting to exploit its opponent’s mistakes. That’s what they did in the first leg. For a squad to win a match, it takes something more than just attacking”.

Mr Martinez said you know each other very well. Do you think that the element of surprise will play a role with respect to each side’s display on the pitch?

“I know him, for my part, quite well and I learned him even better last week.. And see how he came to Athens. It’s not that we know each other, but in the world of football, everything is more or less known. We knew Levante in the first match, yet we make mistakes and thus we took a lesson. I insist that tomorrow we will not step in thinking that we had conceded three goals. It’s a different match and anything may happen. In the first fixture, two penalties had been called on against us, we were left with 10 men and non-anticipated things happened”.


What are the qualities that Olympiacos must display tomorrow in order to improve its performance and make the comeback?

“Firstly, we have to do the opposite of what we did last week. We must avoid making the same mistakes. We already knew back then what Levante’s strengths were. We failed to stand up to the occasion and this must not happen again tomorrow”.

How hard is it for a football player, following first leg’s 3-0, to achieve this comeback?

“You cannot imagine how hard it is for us. But you all know that we are in a great club and we bear the obligation and the will to change the outlook of this tie”.

Are you and the other players waiting for a completely different match from the one you experienced in Valencia?

“Undoubtedly, I believe that tomorrow’s match will be completely different. We also knew one week ago what we should have done but we made many mistakes. So, tomorrow we have to do better and make it our night”.

What’s the message you’d like to send to your fans?

“The only thing we ant is to thank them for their on-going support to the squad. Our duty towards them is to try all together and outscore the first leg”.

What do you consider to be Olympiacos strong point for the match of tomorrow? We already know about the weak point: the 3-0 deficit…

“What we will try to do is based on what we already know, that is that our opponent is dangerous. We will take care not to concede goals and, with the help of our fans, to exercise pressure on the opponent and score a goal as quickly as possible”.

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