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- Čukarički press conference of Martinez and Rodinei

Pre- Čukarički press conference of Martinez and Rodinei

Presser by Olympiacos coach and player ahead of Thursday’s match for the UEFA Europa League play offs.

Olympiacos touched ground in Serbia to play, Thursday, their return match against Čukarički for the UEFA Europa League play offs, following our 3-1 first-leg win in Karaiskakis.

Our team coach Diego Martinez and player Rodinei were in press conference duties.

First, the floor was given to our Brazilian back Rodinei.

How are things in the team match after match? What about the newcomers and your approach to the return match following the positive 3-1 first-leg result.

Our team improves day by day and the mood in the dressing room gets better and better. We know we played a good first match and earned a positive result but this is a completely different match and we came here in good spirits to give it all and complete the task. We are feeling great and we are ready to pull it off.

What is the progress you have seen in the squad all this time?

I am happy to be here, in this organization called Olympiacos. I believe I have also improved personally since the day I came. The team gets better day by day and indeed, there is great progress since our first day. All new players have something extra to contribute in order for us all to become better. We have a very good and experienced team, and with the new signings we are getting better and better. The old players are here to help the newcomers. It certainly takes time, but there is no luxury of time in Olympiacos because this is a club with a winning mentality; however, we all do our best and I think we can do many things.

Do you believe your team has to display something different in the return match compared to the first one and what will be the key of the tie?

I have full trust to my teammates and I know we will do everything to get a positive result. It will not be easy and we will have to better any things because this is a European tie and requirements are high. However, I know that we will all do what it takes to play well and get the positive result.

Diego Martinez: “I fully trust the team”

How do you think Čukarički will play now since in the first match they didn’t show their true qualities.

Our job is not to think our opponent’s performance but to best prepare ourselves against their strengths. In the first match, we managed to properly react to them and played well by not letting them show their proper strengths. Now, however, the match will be different since we play away and in a different atmosphere. But I think that our team is ambitious and able enough to make it. Our team is just 90 minutes from fulfilling one of its major goals for the season, that is to make it to the Europa League group stage, and we are well prepared to deal with our opponents’ strengths.

Last season, Olympiacos ranked third in the domestic table, so is moving forward in the Europa League competition an extra incentive in order to show that they team deserved something more last year?

The past belongs to the past and we do not stick to that. This club has a long history and we should not stick to some specific small time periods. The Olympiacos DNA dictates that we always play to win. When one puts on this jersey, we play to win no matter what has happened in the past. This year marks a new beginning and we want to win all matches we play. There is a big appetite for that, we have changed 11+2 players who were on loan last year, so we are a brand-new team. We cannot linger in the past, we have to stand up to the current situation and the things we can do when we have this jersey on. We are filled with aspirations and dreams and we definitely want to honor this jersey once again on the pitch.

In the first leg, Olympiacos took the win by delivering no more than 20 minutes of true football. Do you intend to do the same now?

I respect all viewpoints but I think Olympiacos played well in the entire 90 minutes. Our worst part in the match was during the added time when we lost control of the game. Čukarički, like all teams from Serbia, knows how to put pressure on the opponent and fight till the end. I believe we deserved that result but now we ha have a different match to play because the return match equals to a final. However, I have confidence to my team and I know we have to give all we got and be more clinical than in the first match. Tomorrow, we will try to be even better.

Apart from qualifying, what else do you expect from the team compared to previous fixtures?

[To demonstrate that] we are on a good path and we are getting better. I think this is something we do show all the time. Our display is that of a team that is being “built” match after match. We are to face an opponent who will give it all, we know that; what we want is to show stability and show the display we want for more time. To be better in attack, in defense and in all set pieces, these are the elements we always want to improve in our performance. Certainly, the most important thing is to win and get the qualification because this is one of our main goals for this new season.

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