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 Cisse Press Conference

Martins and Cisse Press Conference

Read below words by Pedro Martins and Pape Abou Cisse during their presser ahead of the Atalanta tie.

Words by the Olympiacos coach in detail:

You have said that you weren’t satisfied with your side’s display in the match against AEK. How different would you like the Atalanta tie to be?

“I didn’t like our second half against AEK. We should have been more cautious and allow no such transitions by them; we should have not made so many mistakes and we should have been more solid in defense. Tomorrow the match calls for high levels of intensity since we are playing against a top team in terms of physical fitness “.

Over the past 4 years, Olympiacos have spoilt their fans when it came to qualifications. This time, the difference lies in the fact that your first leg is to be played away from home. Will this make your plans any different?

“We are already aware of how things are in the Europa League. We have played many times in this competition and we are experienced. What has changed is that away goals do not count. The main differences have to do with the fact that we have a fixture after two months and we are eager to make our return to European competitions and show what we are capable of. Moreover, we used to play before empty stands, yet now we are not. All the above give us the necessary incentive and experience. We are full of desire to make our comeback to this top competition. We want to make use of this occasion because we feel strongly about playing again in Europe”.

What’s your take on Atalanta?

“They are a team of high levels of fitness, very fast and sharp in offense; a strong outfit that does not allow opponents to easily intercept the ball. A tough and strong opponent, for sure”.

Atalanta presents a different display when playing at home and away. When at home, they perform really well. Does this mean something for you ahead of the first leg of the tie?

“No coach is happy to watch a team that fails to win at home. However, they have evolved in their domestic league, so it doesn’t matter for us what they do at home or on the road. What we surely know is that we are to play against a strong and tough opponent. However, all trams have their weaknesses and we will try to exploit them. Let me repeat that we have a strong desire to play again in European ties, we are looking forward to this match and we can hardly wait for a European fixture. We want to give our best and display our true character and skills. We want to make a good game and utilize our strengths to the maximum. We owe that to our fans who are here to support us and those watching us on TV”.

Should you have a magic wand, what would you ask for your side to claim tomorrow?

“Winning! We are aware of our opponent’s quality but we are here to make it to the next round. What we believe in and we want to do is to win and get the qualification”.

Is the change of the away-goal rule going to affect your plans for tomorrow’s match?

“No, it won’t change our plans. This new rule is fair although it was established, allegedly, to favor minor teams. Those who are favored are those that are good and perform well on the pitch. It’s a fair rule. In the Champions League qualifiers, Olympiacos fell victim of this change, however I consider it to be a fair one “.

Words by Pape Abou Cisse in detail:

Since the day of the draw, it’s in the air that Atalanta is the favorite. What has been your take on that? Has this made you angrier or more obstinate?

“I think there are no favorites in this competition. Atalanta came from the Champions League, but we have a strong team as well. We have played many times in this competition; we are experienced in these ties and we are here to do our job and meet our target”.

What’s your take on Atalanta?

“We know very well how Atalanta play. We know that both matches won’t be easy, but we are well prepared for this one and the return match in Karaiskakis. We are well prepared to face Atalanta”.

What’s your state of fitness since you are to be capped in a tough match right after your Copa Africa spell?

“There is nothing I lack. I am back in training, I know my teammates and our style of play very well. There is nothing new, I am totally ready and I am here to give everything I got for my club; and I am going to give it all to earn a positive result”.

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