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
The press conference ahead of the match against Malmö

The press conference ahead of the match against Malmö

Read the quotes by our coach Mr Michel and David Fuster one day ahead of the important match against Malmö.


We are well aware that you are a coach who plays only to win. However, a draw will secure the side’s participation in the Europa League. Is this one point in your plans?
I have completed almost two years here and you know that I always choose a squad meant to win. If we plan the match in order to secure a draw, then we will lose. I realize that we can use as an excuse the fact that Juventus and Atlético are in this group. But no one said that we have been left out of the competition. We will win the match, we will secure the outcome, we will finish the group stage with 9 points and we will see what will happen in Turin. In any case, we will win because this is what we are obliged to do.

Given that Olympiacos has seen Malmö play both on their soil and away in the UEFA Champions League, how important will a victory truly be for Olympiacos?
We know Malmö well, we have seen them, we respect them and we know they are a worthy opponent. We said this in Sweden as well. Just as Malmö did, we suffered because we played against great clubs such as Juventus and Atlético. We are not saying this match will be a walk in the park. But we have our own arsenal, we are strong in home matches and we intend to use our arsenal to achieve the desired outcome.

Fuster was the best player in the match against PAOK, but he did not play in the match against PAS Giannina. Will he be in the starting 11 tomorrow?
Yes… I just wish to clarify something regarding the question asked to David. I did not say they want to change their psychology. The players should realise which club they are playing for, which club they represent and do their best.

Have you analysed the reason why Olympiacos lost the match in Sweden?
We have realised the lesson we learned in Malmö really well. We were weak in both boxes and this is why we lost. Despite the fact that the score shows a different image, I do not believe we were that bad. We of course have a plan prepared for tomorrow, we respect the opponent. We always treat our opponent with respect, we have however prepared some things in order not to repeat certain things we did not do correctly, but in order to repeat certain things we did correctly too.

What was your impression from the players in the training? Did you see in their eyes what you want in order for the side to be back on the track of success?
No matter what I say to the players, no matter how I try to encourage them, the fact that they are playing for Olympiacos and that this is their last group stage match and the opportunity for them to qualify for the Champions League round of 16, is a greater motive than anything I could say. If a coach was required to show the players how important it is for them to play in the UEFA Champions League, if they don’t know this themselves, then they wouldn’t even need a coach. They would need a magician instead.

Rumour has it that Abidal plans to retire. Do you count him in the starting eleven given that he may not be part of the Olympiacos roster soon?
I don’t know this even as we speak. I know that he is a player of Olympiacos and until I am informed about the opposite, he will continue playing. If a player has made a decision and I am not aware of it, I do not plan to not use him. He is a player of Olympiacos for me until I am informed otherwise.


Keeping in mind the first match in southern Sweden, what do you think will be the key for Olympiacos to win and of course expect the good news from Turin?
The key to the match will be to manage to score one more goal than they do. Tomorrow’s match is the most important group stage match for us because it will determine whether we can qualify for the next round. We want to implement on the pitch all the things we can do. In the first match we did not achieve the desired outcome due to various errors we committed.

A few days ago Mr Michel said that the problems the players are facing are mainly due to psychology. Being an Olympiacos captain, how does this make you feel and how can you boost the psychology in view of this particular match?
A win would really help recover our psychology. This is what we want to do. Following the last results, it’s somewhat natural that our morale is down. We need to be prepared. We are professionals and we need to deal with this match in the best possible way. We are here for the good and the bad. Although these are hard times we are going through, we need to be prepared to deal with this game.

Olympiacos this season, with the exception of the match in Madrid, have had good displays. On the contrary, the displays were not good in the Greek championship. Could you explain to us the difference between the two displays and whether Olympiacos can play against Malmö the same way they did against Atlético and Juventus in the Karaiskakis stadium?
We can and we need to play differently than our appearances in the championship. We are aware that we have won Atlético and Juventus on home soil in the UEFA Champions League. We are convinced we can do this. Now, as regards your question about our psychology and the fact that we do not perform equally well, we will see tomorrow whether the team can perform according to the match’s demands. This match will determine our future in the UEFA Champions League.

Despite the fact that Olympiacos have had unsuccessful outcomes in the last matches, the fans will be present. What message would you like to send to the fans on behalf of the players?
We know that they will be present. They always are, during the good and the bad moments. If we say we are going through a hard time, we know that they will be here. The only thing we can do is thank them; we want them here, we need them. We can only do this with them on our side.

Does the classification reflect the truth? Also, do you expect a gift from Atlético?
We should not expect anything. We will make sure to win our match. This is the important thing. If we do this and Atlético wins Juventus, this will be positive news for us. But this is not we are thinking about; we are thinking about what we need to do.

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