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 against Dnipro

Pre-match Press Conference against Dnipro

Read below quotes by our club's coach Mr Pereira and Alejandro Domínguez one day before the match against Dnipro.

Vitor Pereira:

Olympiacos in general have a hard time when playing against tight defences.What are your plans for tomorrow? Will we be seeing a more attacking Olympiacos?

“Our first concern will be to score the first goal.We need to upgrade our play in comparison to our game in Kiev.We need to be more organised and to overcome Dnipro’s quality at all levels.We want to score the first goal, not randomly, but to do this with organised playing.We need to organise the game to our standards and after that to prove that we are better than them; this way, we will manage to score a second goal after the first one.All sides face problems when playing against tight defences.”

After the two unsuccessful outcomes in Kiev and in Leoforos, what is your impression following the conversations with your players?

“We are of course professionals and we know that you cannot always win in football.Of course Olympiacos prefer to win rather than lose, because this is what they usually do.It is hard to accept the two unfortunate outcomes, but we accept them in any case because this is how football works.You need to get over it and work hard in order to win the matches.We do not have the time to work due to the successive matches, but we have the possibility to work with pictures and on a theoretical level and to prepare our future matches as best as possible.What we want is to become even better, to be more balanced and to play bold and special football.These are the most important things if we want to impose our own game. We have 90 minutes in which to score two goals and we do not care whether we will do this in the first 10 minutes or in the second half.We want to tie the score against Dnipro and to do this in a balanced way, following a systematic game.This is what we will have in our mind, namely that we first need to tie the two goals and then take the extra step which we dream of.”

This year as in previous years, European matches are something different for Olympiacos.What is your message to the fans of Olympiacos?

“A European fixture is a great challenge for every side and every coach, every club.Apart from this, Olympiacos not only want to dominate the Greek championship, but to also prove they can do it in the European competitions.We want to prove both with words and actions that we deserve to be participating in these competitions and we will achieve this by playing a different game in comparison to Kiev’s match.We need to play with will and courage and to prove we want to continue in the competition.Qualifications are not in paper only.Olympiacos are a big name, but we need to prove on the pitch that we can and we want to qualify through organised playing, by proving our abilities with actions.”

If someone looks at the last two matches of Olympiacos, they can observe a trend for your side to score own goals.What is the reason behind this? Is it the lack of concentration?

“I need to repeat once more that due to the successive matches, we do not have the time to work.To work on your mistakes, you need to work on the pitch and not just by discussing or watching videos.We do not have the time to work on the pitch because of the successive matches.During the training sessions, we mostly work on recovery or rehabilitation in order to be fresher in the next matches.Most of the mistakes are committed because the players are not that rested or that focused, in the sense that they are overly loaded at the time.Or because our opponent makes us commit them.We try as much as possible to not repeat them.”

Olympiacos are very good defensively and not threatened during the first half, but play totally differently in the second half.

“I will not attempt to give excuses for our mistakes.I will talk to you about the match against Dnipro where I honestly did not see this happening.During the first half, we played well for the first 20-25 minutes, we had good transitions and we circulated the ball well.During the last 15 minutes of the first half, we lost our focus and in the first four minutes of the second half we conceded two goals.It is difficult for a side to react and to get over what happened.The only way to fix these mistakes is to work on them.If we had one week ahead of us and were able to prepare our game, we would not repeat many of these mistakes.We tried to achieve a better result in the match against Dnipro.We were not given a penalty and we scored a goal that was disallowed.Things would have been different and we would have more chances now, had the match finished 2-1. We would be after one goal, whereas now we are after three goals.I believe that these mistakes would not have happened if we had the time to work on them.But due the successive matches, we do not have the time to work on them.”

You have not been with Olympiacos very long.What is your feeling these last days following the unsuccessful results? Do you feel pressured or motivated ahead of tomorrow’s match?

“I treat every match and every new challenge as an opportunity.All matches are important and decisive and I treat them all as an opportunity to change the situation in our favour.I must admit that the side is not in the situation I prefer.I dream of a team who does more pressing, circulates the ball better and attacks more.For this to happen, we need to have the time to work, to be able to recover and to prepare the team for the upcoming matches.To give you an idea of the difficulties I face: we played the match against Panathinaikos, the next day we let the players recover, the day after that I had to let them rest and recover again and today I had to prepare tomorrow’s match.If I could prepare the next match the way I wanted to – to work on possession, pressing, circulation and speed – you can rest assured that the players would be exhausted in the match and would not able to complete it.If the fans expect to see tomorrow a club that will play aggressive pressing for 90 minutes, I need to tell them that Olympiacos are not able to do this right now because we have not worked on this.We need to play a quality and balanced game, to play as better as possible and to go after the goal.”

Alejandro Domínguez:

What do Olympiacos need to change in their game in comparison to Kiev’s match in order to qualify for the next round?

“I believe we need to change our display, this is really important; we need to change our play completely in comparison to our play in Kiev.We have worked on the mistakes we made in Kiev a lot and we hope to not repeat them tomorrow, because we know we are at a crucial point and that we will pay dearly for any mistakes we make.”

Do the players of Olympiacos believe they can turn this score? Olympiacos have never turned such a result before.

“First of all, we know, more than you think, that this is our obligation.It’s been a long time now that we are not doing that well.And we know that we need to change this situation because we realise the moment we are at and because we know we have a team that deserves to qualify.We deserve more.”

When a side has unsuccessful results, a leader is called upon to carry it on his shoulders.You are this side’s leader.How does that make you feel?

“I feel very well, I am in a really good condition.I am ready to help the team, to contribute together with my teammates.Given this, aside from every individual player or unit, the important thing is for the team to prevail.I wish that the team will lead and captain.”

Can you handle this schedule with the successive matches?

“We are professionals, are aware of the difficulties and are prepared to deal with them.We have several players who can help deal with this schedule.”

You won the 2008 UEFA Europa League with Zenit.Do you remember a match in which things were not easy and also a great comeback in your career in which you starred?

“There must definitely be an unsuccessful result in my career that I had to turn.But it was not in that Europa League competition.I remember, however, that we played important matches against clubs such as Bayern which we won.I hope this is a new opportunity for us to achieve a good outcome.”

Has the whole ugly situation in Leoforos affected you or will this mark the beginning of a different day for Olympiacos and you managed to leave everything behind?

“No.We were not affected because this was not the only difficult match we had to play.We are football players and what we need to do is play football.We are not affected by the rest.”

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