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 Barcelona

Pre-match Press Conference against Barcelona

Please read below quotes from our club’s head coach, Mr Takis Lemonis, and Kostas Fortounis ahead of our side’s match against Barcelona. 

Takis Lemonis:

-On the atmosphere in the squad: “You all know we had a bad result, but it is good for us that we have to play Barcelona tomorrow; so we had to talk about that very quickly (note: on last Saturday’s match) and then focus on the next one. Always, when another ficture comes right after a defeat, then you have swiftly to set your mind on it, although it is Barcelona we are facing tomorrow”.

-On the developments in Spain: “I think this question is irrelevant to the match; there are many things happening around the world, however we are here to focus on tomorrow’s match”.

-On the ultimate goal for such a match:We have to be realistic; our approach won’t change that much. We may change something but against such a club, our options may not be plenty”.

-On Cisse and Ansarifard who have been left off the squad list: “This is something I knew since day one. There is nothing more to say. We have the players to play; they are two guys who may contribute to the team, however we have been adapted to that since the day we joined”.

-On the changes he might be thinking about: “Generally speaking, we are in the middle of a streak of matches, since we have Platanias after Barcelona and then a break for the National Team. We had the derby against PAOK and then the Cup match against Acharnaikos. We try to allocate time amongst players. Sadly, we are left a bit behind in the championship campaign and we have to focus on that. It’s a combination of things we have to do and we try to keep all players fresh”.

-On whether there is pressure: “I think there is a bit more but it’s the same degree of difficulty. This team is not one affected by the environment in away matches. Even if they had 100% secured their qualification, they would still perform the same. It’s the same degree of difficulty. (Moving forward in Europe) is certainly in our mind. But this is does not depend solely on our results, but in particular on tomorrow’s match between Sporting and Juventus. If we want to do something more, then last 2 matches will be of key importance, given the degree of difficulty. Certainly, Barcelona and Juventus are the group’s top names, but Sporting have also a strong team”.

-On whether he feels the flame within his players to enter the pitch: “Of course, I do! There is no better thing in the mind of a footballer but to play against such clubs. It is certainly a dream and they also show me how much they want to play tomorrow”.

Kostas Fortounis:

-On his locker room speech as captain: “Of course, the players we had a talk in the locker room after the Panathinaikos match. We know what we have to do. We discussed, we know we have a good team; we have to prove that on the pitch starting tomorrow. We know it is going to be a tough match but we have to fight back”.

-On the things they have to do to contain Barcelona’s stars: “As said, this is one of the season’s toughest matches. It’s what our coaches know best. They will share their analysis with us both today and tomorrow, so we do our job tomorrow and contain Barcelona’s top players on the pitch”.

-On the club’s fans and the way Valverde will be received: “We certainly expect to give him a warm welcome, which he surely deserves. He is a great coach and has joined the best team. However, we are not concerned with that, all we want is to play football and get a positive result out of this match”.

-On the particular importance of playing for Olympiacos:“Certainly, when one joins Olympiacos and plays for the club, one should always strive for the win, no matter if it is Barcelona or any other team they are playing against. This is what we will try to do tomorrow; we do know they are a hard-to-beat team but with our fans boosting us, we will try to deliver and get a positive result”.

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