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
Martins and Meriah Press Conference ​

Martins and Meriah Press Conference ​

Words of our side’s head coach Mr Pedro Martins and Yassine Meriah at the pre-match press conference one day ahead of our match against Viktoria

Words of our side’s head coach Mr Pedro Martins and Yassine Meriah at the pre-match press conference one day ahead of our match against Viktoria

Words of Mr Perdo Martins

On Meriah’s distinction in Copa Africa:
«I would like to congratulate Yassine on his spell. This was a great experience for him and he came back richer in insights. As a player, he showed his true colors and his side earned a lot from him. We are proud him representing us as well. He showed the kind of player he is. We had a chat when he returned. I told him we might need some time off after so many matches in a row and such a hectic a season; however, he said he was 100% focused and ready to join and help his team. This shows the spirit in the squad amongst all our players. We are really happy and proud of him».

Will Olympiacos aim at preserving a clean sheet and then try to score or will the side start the match offensively:
«I believe that, along the year, there are 7-8 matches for us that might as well be considered as «finals”. Tomorrow’s is one of them since it will determine our European spell. However, the same applies for Plzen and they also need those points for their country’s ranking. They are a side that performed well in the Europa League 2 years ago and last year as well. The Czech Republic is ranking high and this is thanks to Plzen; so we have to be 100% focused. We shall not disclose our strategy tight now. We also bank on our fans’ support a lot. We play at home and this is an extra boost for us. So, we have to be absolutely focused and deal with this match as one of the 6-7 finals we are to play this season».

After the first match was finished, you commented on how the side finishes the plays. Has the team worked on that over the past days? 
«Indeed, we had some issues with our assists. We were sharp in managing ball possession but there were moments in which we lost our upper hand. We don’t want that and we want us to set the pace in the match. This is something we worked a lot on in this week; we can say no more about our strategy. The aim is to win at home and we will do everything to become more competitive. It takes patience since there will be moments of pressure exercised by Plzen. We will do everything to defeat a really strong opponent».

How do coaches deal with cases like the one of Meriah. Does he need some rest or is he up to the task due his playing non-stop? 
«Yassine is here fully confident and motivated for this match. We dealt with his past 7 days as a break for him. We know the season will be long and we have many matches to play. However, the one tomorrow is of major importance. We know he feels fine and willing to play. We will try to give him some time out during the year, but for sure he will be with us tomorrow».

Tomorrow is Mr Evangelos Marinakis’ birthday; is this an extra incentive for the side and do you feel like giving him a present in the form of the side’s qualification? 
«It is our aim to offer him such a gift for our President’s birthday. The stands will be packed and, rest assured, our side will be better compared to the previous match. We shall do everything in order to offer our President and our fans such joy».

Words of Yassine Meriah

Does it help you mentally that you are a member of Copa Africa’s best XI?
«Indeed, it was an amazing experience and my first time in such a tournament. I am satisfied with this experience and my adventure with the National Team. However, it will take a lot of hard work as of now. I am here to give all I got for my club».
On you collaboration with Semedo in our first training sessions together?
«For all of us, the most important thing is to qualify. We are all here fully focused on that. We want to display our quality on the pitch and get this qualification. It doesn’t matter who offers what, whether it will be me or Semedo. We are all working towards a common goal».

You watched the first leg on TV; for you, what is the quality that Olympiacos should deliver in order to qualify? 
«I watched the match on TV. Given our goal-scoring chances, we could have converted once. We must have a completely different approach to the 2nd leg, give our 100% and play to win».

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