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 vs Dudelange

Pre match Press Conference vs Dudelange

Read below words by our head coach Mr Pedro Martins and Andreas Bouchalakis, one day ahead of our match against Dudelange.

Pedro Martins:

Do you expect Dudelange to massively defend tomorrow evening: “I wish not to compare Greek reality with a UEFA Europa League campaign. What we expect is the Dudelange squad as we faced them 2 weeks ago. It is a side that plays low in defense, but also tries to exploit all ball transitions in order to secure their first points. They gave us a hard time in the previous match, as it was the case against Milan and Betis. For sure, we don’t expect an open, attack-minded display by them but our experience suggests we must be careful since we are playing against a side that is at a good level and in par with us. They will try to play close and use their advantages. We expect a side as we faced them 2 weeks ago”.

What’s the significance of winning tomorrow in terms of qualifying to the next round: “I believe it is an important match, yet not decisive. I reckon that since there are 2 sides ranking above us at the table and we have to play against them, the qualifying ticket will be secured in the very last matchday. We have to perform well to get these 3 points because we need them; but this is not the match to determine what side will qualify. This will be determined in the last matchday”.

Will you opt for squad rotation tomorrow and if you wish for a Betis win over Milan ahead of last matchday and your side’s encounter with the italian outfit?: “There will be some changes in the squad, but you have to wait until tomorrow to find out what. As for the other group fixture, we shall be focused on our own match and not concerned with things there. We know that we shall play against a side that will make it difficult for us, so we will have to be absolutely concentrated and serious about it. We will have to use our fans support in order to gain power, display well and, of course, win the match; this shall call for all our focus. We must not be concerned with the other match, because if we fail to win, then no matter what happens in the other match, it will mean nothing at all. So, we have to be focused on our match and think of nothing else”.

Is Hassan at the proper state and will he be in the starting lineup both tomorrow and against Panathinaikos: “All players are available for the match, except for Guerrero, and this includes Hassan. There were some doubts on Vukovic and Omar, but I tell you they are all ready. Thankfully, we have a group of people who can prepare and help our players recover faster than expected. The same applies to Hassan, whom we expected to be a bit late to return. But we have to wait until tomorrow to see who will play”.

Have you spotted any of your players having their mind fixed on Sunday’s match against Panathinaikos: “No, there is absolutely noone to think of the Panathinaikos fixture; rest assured about that. We are all concentrated on tomorrow’s encounter because we know it is going to be tough and difficult, as well as really important. Its importance relates both to the players themselves, since they want to perform fine in Europe, and the club which has to be present in top-level European tournaments. It is a match in which we must not underestimate our opponent; this must not happen. Be sure that it will not. I am really excited with the way our players respond, like Omar and Vukovic, who were in need of special treatment this week. They are all excited and so willing and eager to play tomorrow evening”.

Andreas Bouchalakis:

What should Olympiacos pay attention to, tomorrow evening, to avoid any unpleasant surprises?: “Firstly, it is very important to me to enter the pitch the same way, with passion and might, as we did 2 weeks ago making evident that we had come for the win. It won’t be easy, I reckon. Dudelange is very good team with fine players and they have nothing to lose, so they will try to win their first points in this campaign-if I am not wrong. It will be up to us and our degree of composure and focus to perform in the pitch and do the things our coach has told us to”.

Will it be easy for you to stay focused on the Dudelange fixture, since you are playing Panathinaikos next Sunday: “Last streak has helped us mentally. Tomorrow, it is an important match, since we know that if we fail to win, we will not have the same degree of confidence and mindset on Sunday. So, it is equally important to be serious and then we will have the time to practice and get prepped for Sunday’s match. Yet, tomorrow’s match is above all else”.

How do you feel with all this healthy competition amongst midfielders: “We knew early enough that competition will be high, there are plenty of players, but this is Olympiacos and all players are required in order for the club to meet its obligations and targets set in all tournaments. I think that each and every one of us is trying to display our best and then it’s up to the coach to decide who is ready to help”.

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