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 by Martins and Elabdellaoui

Pre-match press conference by Martins and Elabdellaoui

Below follows transcript of words by Mr Pedro Martins and Omar Elabdellaoui at the press conference ahead of the Arsenal vs Olympiacos match for the UEFA Europa League’s last-32.

Presser of our side’s coach:

On whether London still owes him something following his last encounter against Tottenham?
Indeed, this is truly important match and we all believe that our side will show the same enthusiasm and desire as it has done throughout our European campaign. We have to win to qualify; performing well is not enough. Our team set out last July and we do want to go forward; we are to make it evident”.

On the fact that Semedo, Soudani and Fortounis are out and whether this will make qualifying more difficult?
“Indeed, we have these 3 players out; necessarily in the case of the first two, and as we decided for the third one. This squad has surprised many and has shown its resilience against hardships. We have faith in us and all players have shown they can do everything to astonish us”.

On whether winning PAOK in Toumba had a positive mental effect:
“We had quite a motive from the start. We are to play against one of Europe’s finest. Our win in Toumba strengthens our self-belief. It is important to have won an important match before such a great encounter. It helps our confidence a lot and find our balance”.

What are Arsenal’s strengths according to what he saw at the “Georgios Karaiskakis” first leg?
“Arsenal has been greatly improved in attack. They are a strong team that can hurt any opponent. On the other hand, we have evidently outperformed them in many parts of the match. We have our own advantages and we must use them”.

On Fortounis’ disqualification from the squad ahead the Arsenal fixture:
“No one is above Olympiacos. Olympiacos is, tomorrow, to play a very important match against a European club. This team has accomplished many things in this year and we aim to repeat that tomorrow. We all want to stay focused on this match. Our fans deserve the best; tomorrow, there will be lots of them here to support the squad and all of us who made this travel intend to do everything possible for this team! We have done everything so far to reach this point and we want to continue!”

On whether Thursday’s match will be determined by one’s eagerness to get the result or one’s mental make-up.
“There are many elements a side must have to move on. One’s eagerness does matter; yet, the desire is not enough and top clubs pay lots of money. We do have the will, skillful players of quality and we are a family. So, it’s a bit of everything. Sole desire to attain something is not enough; one needs all elements to qualify”.

Detailed transcript of words by Olympiacos captain:

He is the only one to have played in last Olympiacos away win against Arsenal. Can your side repeat that success?
“That has been a good game; we have earned a great result and we hope to repeat that”.

After beating PAOK, he posted something on social media on the character displayed by the squad. Does he think that they will also have to do the same against Arsenal?
“Of course, we have to play with quality and deliver well to get a good result. We must have this winning spirit and repeat our good performance in order to achieve something against Arsenal”.

Is facing Arsenal’s “good” flank an additional incentive for him?
“Indeed, it is really important to play against such good players. Our incentive remains strong and what matters is that we perform well against such skillful footballers”.

Within the squad, is there a strong belief they will qualify?
“Είναι αλήθεια ότι σκεφτόμαστε θετικά και το πιστεύουμε. Θα κάνουμε ό,τι καλύτερο μπορούμε για να πετύχουμε το στόχο μας που είναι η πρόκριση”. “Truth be told, we think positively of the tie and we have faith. We shall do everything we can reach our goal and qualify”.

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