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 Dynamo Kyiv

Pre match Press Conference vs Dynamo Kyiv

Read below words by our head coach Mr Pedro Martins and Kostas Fortounis, one day ahead of our return match against Dynamo.

Pedro Martins:

Is the side’s performance at the 2nd half against AEK a beacon for tomorrow’s fixture? Why did the side have its training in Greece?: It is certain that tomorrow we have to perform and generally behave the way we did in the 2nd half against AEK. This has been the attainment of an objective set, for the sake of both the team and our fans. We were really united, strong, composed and, indeed, we handled those 45 minutes flawlessly, kept the match under our own control, set the pace we wanted and got the result we desired. So, it will certainly be a beacon for us and it would be really good to repeat this kind of performance tomorrow. With regard to the training session, you all know very well that we have been playing official fixtures every 3 day as of January. This means the players need at least 48 hours to recover, and this is difficult to have. We opted, therefore, to train this morning at Rentis, and give them more time to rest from the previous match and also to work on strategies and tactics we must prepare for tomorrow’s match. We should have various plans in mind, discuss and map them out on our tactics and strategy for tomorrow’s match, and this would be better carried out in private. We ‘d rather have our training in our own premises, where it would be easier to keep…secrets away from people, have our plans safe for tomorrow and also be cool and relaxed. For these two reasons, we chose to stay in Greece and use the time there for better management of restoration time”.

About the 1st match at Karaiskakis: We have analyzed the first match, talked already about the result, carried out our assessment of it and there is no need to repeat should we have any question in the first leg. Questions have been answered. We now want everyone to think about and concentrate only on tomorrow’s fixture».

On the rumors that he was going to be fired should the team fail to beat AEK: “Don’t worry at all about me, I am doing fine and I got a job. I am really happy with my results and I stay focused solely on my work. All else is nothing but speculations and rumors, and they are none of my concerns. I don’t spend time with all these, because their sole purpose is to distract my focus away from our goal. I strongly support my work, and I have faith in their quality and talent. I believe we have a team that can do many things at the same iem Πιστεύω πως έχουμε μία ομάδα η οποία μπορεί να κάνει πάρα πολλά πράγματα και συγκεντρωνόμαστε μόνο σ’ αυτό. Οτιδήποτε άλλο, δεν μας απασχολεί!».

On his approach for tomorrow’s match: “At last, a purely football-related question on tomorrow’s fixture; and this is the reason we are here. What I have to say is that tomorrow’s match shall be worthy of this tournament. A great match shall be played in a tournament where results, as seen, are truly unexpected. In the previous stage, only 3 sides were able to win at home. Many strong outfits failed to register a single away win, including Arsenal. They were the favorites to win although playing away from home, but they failed. This shows the level of difficulty of this tournament, as well as the surprises it holds for us. If you ask me about tomorrow’s match, it will be a clash of two sides that truly know one another very well. It will be a different match, in my opinion. It will be well balanced, as it was the first leg in our home grounds; and as all UEFA Europa League matches are at this moment. Both sides will display their best, give everything they got to qualify. Hoverer, given that we believe that playing at home means nothing in this tournament and it has really minimal impact, we will try, although playing away from home, to perform better than in the 1st leg. We were great in the 1st half and kept the match under control. We will try to maintain this level throughout the match. We believe in our hard work and quality; we set a goal at the beginning of this season. We believe this team can make it and reach far in this tournament. Therefore, we are ready and confident we can progress to the next stage”.

Do you have a more attack-minded formation in mind for tomorrow’s match?: “This is our side’s philosophy and how we display on the pitch. We normally have 4 attacking players and our defensive backs to underpin our plays in the attack. This is our philosophy and we intend to apply it once more, since this is how we have been playing in all our matches. What will be of extreme interest for tomorrow is that we will see two teams giving all their strength to win this qualification and many differences compared to the first leg. Both sides will try to earn control of the match and they will also try to adapt their tactics in relation to the first match. Many times did we see that when changing one thing in our tactics in the first half creating thus problems to our opponent, then their tried to remedy them by changing their tactics in order to deal with that problem. We did the same when we saw that the opponent would do something to confuse us by trying to adapt ourselves to that. So we are prepared to play to play a different match compared to the first one. Both sides, we know each other better and this is why I believe that tomorrow’s will be a really strong, yet interesting, match, with many ups and downs in terms of tactics”.

Kostas Fortounis:

What is the different element, compared to the first leg, he and his teammates should introduce in order to leave Kyiv with a win and qualify:I believe that in the first match, and especially in the first half, we were dominating the pitch. After the break, I believe our opponent gained some extra space closer to our penalty area, had ball possession and put pressure on us although we didn’t want to. Our coach has shown us details of that to be careful of tomorrow evening. We truly believe in this team and in positive results to come».

Will he and his teammates also play for Lazaros tomorrow evening? “It goes without saying that we will also play for Lazaros. We have already said so amongst us and we let him know that we were going there to claim this qualification for him as well. He is an important asset to this side. He was so helpful for the team and the Club, and should we win and qualify tomorrow, it will be dedicated to him”.

Whether he wants to continue with his great performances following that against AEK:Both I and my teammates want to have a top-level performance. Originally, we have set a goal, namely to qualify from a really difficult group. We did that. We have been drawn against a good team, but we believe we can reach even higher. We like playing against tough sides because we have a really good squad with players of quality”.

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