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
Michel: “Not satisfied, yet we saw our future”

Michel: “Not satisfied, yet we saw our future”

Olympiacos coach, Michel, underlined tha Academy players featured on the pitch.

Olympiacos lined up against Nanates with several additions in their starting XI, offsprings of the club’s Academy; our team finished 6th in the group.

Reference is made to Tzolakis, Androutsos, Vrousai, Retsos, Kalogeropoulos and Sapountzis and this was pinpointed by our team’s coach Michel during his press conference at G. Karaiskakis following the Nantes tie for the UEFA Europa League group stage:

In detail, quotes by the Spanish manager before the Press:

What good do you take out of this unpleasant result? Any conclusions you draw ahead of January?

No optimistic answer may come following a defeat. Now that our European journey is over, we may draw conclusions on our future. E.g., we have players in our Academy who can be of help in the future, like Ntoi, Tzolakis, Androutsos, Vrousai. Indeed, there have been players tonight who showed that perhaps their coach has been wrong not to use them in the past, since they did some good stuff on the pitch. We are looking for answers ahead of Sunday’s match, hence our changes in the lineup. We were good in the first half and we deserved to get the lead. I am not happy because we didn’t win. However, certain players displayed well, we liked that and that allows us to be optimistic for the future.

There were two teams on the turf with completely different objectives; the one with no interest in the match was better for 80 minutes. Perhaps, the roster of Olympiacos is not that bad after all and it was just about having a good coach at the bench in order to introduce certain elements in the team?

There has been great doubt about whether Olympiacos could line up a strong team against Nantes and, as it turned out, we have been able to do so. With all due respect to all our players, and I do acknowledge all of them with no exception, they do way more than we can. It is clear that, since I joined the club- and this is the understanding of the management- a team’s roster should consist of 24 players so that Academy players may also get a chance. Otherwise, nobody would have known about Kalogeropoulos or Ntoi, players age 19. They are footballers with a lot to offer but when there are 34 players in total, this is impossible. They all footballers who may be in the starting lineup, Ntoi has already proven that- and we have to provide them with the space. I don’t think many coaches would have done that with these players in these circumstances. We are not into out of craziness but because we believe in them; they need space to show their skills.

Ahead of the derby, what is your message to the fans and whether you are troubled by the fact that your team is once again conceded a goal in the last minutes.

The message we want to send to our fans, who are always standing next to us, is that we know how to play on Sunday. As per our performance, truth is that we gave them space in the last 20 minutes and lost the ball several times. While he had possession, action was taking place away from our area. At that point, we gave them space so they take initiatives.

You gave time to Sapountzis. Do you think he is up to this level?

Of course, he is worthy of it; really, it was great to show the kind of players we have. They are 18-19 years old and they are working like professionals. But good players show their colours during a team’s hard times and this has nothing to do with their age. If one didn’t know about Alexis, he would have thought he is one of our regulars. In football, there is not time and we cannot ask for more; when one is given the chance, then one must seize it. These guys have been working with the team for 5 weeks and they know what they have to do for the future.

With the exception of El-Arabi, it there any other players who satisfied you? What is the status of injured players ahead of Sunday’s match?

Yes, I have been informed about the injured players, but we still have 72 before kick-off, so we will see about that on Saturday. In the case of Garry and Masouras, this was why they were replaced in half time. We also had to think about Sunday’s match, we are not that crazy. We saw that both Marios and El-Arabi played well. Vrsaljko  had also to play some minutes who is back after that injury he picked up against Qarabag.

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