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 El Arabi Press Conference

Martins and El Arabi Press Conference

Pedro Martins and Youssef El Arabi in press conference duties ahead of our side’s return match against Ludogorets.

Presser by the Olympiacos coach:

Is the team affected by the fact that training has been trimmed down due to the wildfires:

“No, the squad will not be affected either mentally or physically; we are perfectly prepared. Trimming down our practices was a natural outcome of the things happening in Athens and Greece. This has nothing to do with our conditioning, we will be ready to the maximum”.

What is the element they have to change/improve compared to the first leg?

“What affected us the most in the first half was that we failed to add more pressure on them, cancel their defending and play more aggressively. There has been an improvement after the break, and this is what we also have to do tomorrow from the start. We have to be careful with their counter-attacks and contain them, while making the best use of out attacking skills”.

On the sidelined players in previous matches who are now available and whether all players at 100%:

“We are at top form. With the exception of Avraam, all other players are available. Socrates, M’Villa and Bouchalakis have trained for a full week. So clearly, we are at much better shape”.

Do you agree with the abolition of the away-goal rule:

“I have said many times that I am in favor because the game becomes more competitive. Particularly in overtime, since if one team managed to score, this would probably mean the qualification was decided. This used to help stronger teams, but now things are more competitive, both teams try to achieve the same goal and the game becomes much more interesting. If the old rule still applied, we would go to Bulgaria with a handicap; now, both teams have to play and give all they got. We are done with part one of the qualification. Now, we see this fixture as a final and we have to do our best. The tie starts now from the beginning».

Is it an extra motive that whenever the first leg in a knock-out tie ends draw, like against Dinamo Kiev and Wolves, Olympiacos gets disqualified?

“We need no more incentives apart from the Olympiacos emblem on our jersey. We never consider statistics, even when it is in our favor. There is no reason to have this pressure on top. We only have to check our opponents, identify their weaknesses and strike in the right way. We are very well prepared. We should not think of the past and concentrate n things that did us no good. We need no such incentive; being Olympiacos is strong a motive enough”.

Presser by El Arabi:

All things considered, this should be your first official fixture as a regular. Are you ready for that? A comment also on his ability to setup for his teammates as it was the case late last season:

“I am satisfied when I am able to help my teammates; we are here to help each other. I am 100% ready for tomorrow to assist the team. We faced difficulties in the first leg, but we are ready to give tomorrow all we got for the qualification”.

What should Olympiacos be more cautious of against Ludogorets to secure its qualification?

“We all know that these ties are determined by details. We should defend well, use all chances we have in attack because should we have done that in the first leg, things would have been different now. We have to give it all”.

You scored both last year and the year before, in the play-offs against Omonoia and Krasnodar? Do you believe you can do the same a bit earlier this year to help the team advance to the play-offs?

“I hope so; both last seasons, I was able to help the team qualify. We want to make it to the group stage, we have the quality to do so. The coronavirus had a toll on us, but this applies to all and we have to overcome such challenges. I have faith in me, I am self-confident and I believe we can do it’ this is a final and we have to give our best”.

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