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
Press conference by Martins and Fortounis

Press conference by Martins and Fortounis

Quotes by Mr Pedro Martins and Kostas Fortounis at the press conference ahead of our side’s match against Eindhoven

In detail, words by Olympiacos’ coach:

PSV’s coach said that, for them to qualify, the key would be to score first. What is the key for Olympiacos to qualify?

“That’s not how I see it. I don’t think that who scores first will qualify, nor that an early goal will determine the side to move forward. The opening minutes tomorrow will not be the same like in the first leg. We will have to be patient while they have the ball. The match will be like the first one, more or less; when in possession, we will be ourselves, ready to go on attack, play well and score goals. So, it’s not going to be a matter of who scores first, for me. It is a fact we have a slight advantage, this 2-goal lead from the first match, but we certainly didn’t come here to defend the first-leg score”.

In the first leg, Olympiacos played well, but conceded 2 goals. Have you worked with your team on these mistakes? Do you believe that should Olympiacos displays the same way, you will both qualify and get the win? Also, is Ba’s return making your life easier for planning the match?

“We certainly didn’t come to play a defensive game; we never believed that a match ready not to concede is closer to not losing a match. This is not our philosophy. We came to play well and not to lose our identity. We will not play defensively. Perhaps, in the beginning, the match will be slightly different but then we will witness many things similar to the first leg, since both sides are attack-minded. We came here to score goals. We conceded a goal from a set piece but this will not affect us because, in football, if all teams were to react in the best way, then no goals would be scored. We came to play offensive football like we do. Ba is back, this means we have one more player who links well with Semedo“.

It’s one year that matches have been played behind closed doors and Olympiacos is quite experienced in these new circumstances. In this context, are some matches easier or harder, given that some coaches support that away matches are easier since the squad is more compact and focused. Is this the case?

“What we may talk about is the power we get from our supporters in Karaiskakis. We are much stronger when we have fans at the stands. It’s not the same thing playing in an empty stadium, since we all know the kind of atmosphere our fans create in all our home matches. They are our 12th player and they help us a lot. We are accustomed to play away matches at the times of the pandemic, with or without fans. When in away matches, our opponents get stronger thanks to their fans. We are well prepared to deal with both cases. We may not comment on whether it’s different to when playing in empty stadiums. When it comes to our own home ground, there is a difference indeed between an empty and a packed stadium “.

Will Olympiacos be the same like in Karaiskakis? Both in terms of individual players and approach to the encounter?

“Definitely, these two matches are different to each other. From our side, we have to control our emotions. We have a 2-goal advantage and this might make some think the problem is solved. We will have to be cautious and focused when in possession and know how to react when things don’t go well. We will have to be composed enough to deal with all circumstances. Our layers are experienced and aware of how to be attentive and make used of our strengths. In terms of strategy, things keep on changing but, as said, the match will be similar to the first leg in Karaiskakis, with the exception of the opening minutes, because both teams know each other very well”.

In detail, words by Kostas Fortounis:

That was quite a crazy match of football the one we watched last week. Are we to witness another match of many goals again?

“I believe it will be an open match tomorrow, also by Eindhoven; currently, we have a goal advantage, so we have to play smart, defend well and, when given the chance, attack and make our job easier!”.

In the last match against Aris, you showed us you are in a good shape. Do you feel as if this is a final for you to achieve something more in Europe? Is it an extra incentive for you the fact you reached that close to making it to the quarter-finals last year?

“Indeed, it is an extra reason for us, because we want to go further in this competition, so tomorrow we have to play a final. The first leg went quite well, we all want to make this step more that will help us a lot both individually and as a team. So, we will give it all for the win tomorrow.”

You have scored a goal against M’Vogo when he played for Young Boys. Do you expect the same to happen tomorrow? Are we to see you making a tradition out of that?

“I wish I can go on with this tradition either by scoring or helping my team make it to the next stage”.

The Dutch Press paint Olympiacos with the colors of the tie’s favorite. Do you feel like that?

“I do not want to call my team the tie’s “favorite”. Both teams are really good. As for who is the best and the tie’s favorite, this will be proven on the pitch. In the first leg, we ruled proceedings, so we earned a quite positive result. Our team will enter the pitch tomorrow to claim the qualification, be it the favorite or not. This will be our aim and this we will achieve”.

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