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 AC Milan

Pre-match press conference against AC Milan

Read below words of our side’s coach Mr Pedro Martins and Daniel Podence, ahead of the fixture against AC Milan.

Pedro Martins:

Does he agree that should Olympiacos throw Milan out of the UEFA Europa League next round, this will be one of the top qualifications ever in the club’s history:Certainly, we are playing against a side of the likes of Milan, a winner of many European cups and highly successful; we knew since day one, following the draw, that –along with Betis- they are both top clubs and two of the best in Europe. This is a top club. We knew early enough that this group was going to be tough and it will hard for anyone to make it through. We said that qualification will be determined in the very last matchday and the very last minute. This is the case, we knew it was going to be like that. For any team, it is hard to beat a major side like Milan, but we have also said that we do have the aspiration and desire to qualify. We have done everything, we have tried a lot and we believe we deserve to qualify given our display and performance in all matches so far. We will do everything against a difficult opponent to claim this win and qualify; should we do it, it will certainly be a historic moment for the club since this is huge organization we are playing against, winner of many cups and one of European football’s top clubs. However, we are ambitious, we believe in ourselves and we will do everything to be successful”.

How much will our fans help the team: Our fans will certainly help, no doubt. Our fans are our strength; we have said that we are strong at home and in particular in such matches, like tomorrow’s, when we know that our fans will be next to us. We need their support and we are sure we will have it. From our side, we will try to return this boost. In terms of psychology, there is no need to work on that because players are already strongly motivated and willing to play tomorrow. They are all thrilled and this is the kinf of fixtures everybody want to play and be ready for. However we will have to manage our enthusiasm properly; we don’t have to provide them with additional incentives since they already know the importance of this match and they are eager to play. What matters a lot for tomorrow’s match is our strategic approach and dealing with details. This is what we should work on meticulously, not our players’ mentality».

What makes you optimistic about tomorrow’s match:If I wasn’t optimistic or didn’t believe in my squad, I couldn’t have been the coach of Olympiacos. I strongly believe in the quality of this team and I have always believed that we can stand up to the challenge of this competition, make it in the group stage and then qualify in the next stage. I think we showed in previous matches that we have the quality to play well; I really believe that this team may do many things. The entire world has seen how strong we are at home and how much we can improve. All players believe so, so do I being the coach of Olympiacos”.

If the side may claim this qualification should it present a robust defensive attitude:Every match calls for its own strategic approach; this doesn’t mean we will change our strategy completely as it stands in this competition and against this opponent. Certainly, we will apply a certain strategy for this particular match but we will not fully change our philosophy, it will remain the same. We all know and we have seen that Olympiacos is a side that may produce some really offensive-minded football; certainly, we are not as effective when it comes to converting. However, given our strategy tomorrow, we will seek to score goals, try to be more effective in the chances we will create; in all respects, we will try to build our own game, without moving away from Olympiacos overall display this year”.

On Yaya Toure:I would like to wish him all the best; there is not much to say about this individual. We all know he is a man of great professionalism and an amazing personality. He is a top star. Those who have worked with him have nothing but kind words to share. His conduct was exemplary. Froom the bottom of my heart, I wish him all the best for the future, no matter what project he becomes involved with. Olympiacos was really lucky to have had him the first and the second time; he is a huge name and one can only earn things just be staying close to him; once again, I would like to wish him all the best”.

Daniel Podence:

How big is the challenge for the payers themselves to knock Milan out and have such a feat to tell their children in the future:This is a very important match for all of us the players. First, we play against a top club, a real powerhouse. Second, we all know the importance of tomorrow’s match for the club. So, we believe that we will do the best we can, we will give everything to beat such a great opponent and experience an evening of historic proportions for our side”.

If, following his expulsion in the match against Xanthi for the domestic league, he has some kind of complaint on the way his opponents mark him: Indeed, I feel stupid for the way I reacted following the foul committed on me. Truth is that opponents do mark me in a hard way, they foul me aggressively but I shouldn’t have reacted that way. I should have thought better and understand that such fouls are part of the game and I must be patient. This is something that will not happen again. The past belongs to the past and we must focus on the future”.

Have wingers worked a bit more on converting ahead of tomorrow’s match: Tomorrow, it doesn’t matter where the goal will be scored from; what matters is for all players, from any position, to try hard and give our everything to score 1,2,3 or 4 goals. It doesn’t matter if this will happen from a center position or a later one; what is important is to net it”.

Whether it is easy for players to manage their enthusiasm during such a match in a full house:Certainly, our fans will make it really hot an atmosphere tomorrow, yet we will be absolutely focused on the match. We will use our fans support as an additional incentive. We will play as we played against Betis and Dudelange and will do everything to leapfrog Milan in the table”.

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