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
Diego Martínez: “Our mentality, our work, and our people are our strengths”

Diego Martínez: “Our mentality, our work, and our people are our strengths”

The press conference of Diego Martínez, following the victory over Aris.

Olympiacos won 4–1 in “G. Karaiskakis,” for the Stoiximan Super League, with Diego Martínez looking satisfied after the end of the match.

In detail, the press conference of the Spanish coach of the “red-and-whites”:

Is the team we saw in the last half hour the Olympiacos you want? How much did the tie and the post hit by Aris shake up your team?

We all understand that we are not the only ones on the field – the opponent is playing as, and they were a good opponent. We made a good start. In the first minutes we got 2–3 good opportunities, then we struggled to find the opponent’s shortages and we were not connected in our lines. But in the first half, I can’t remember Aris creating an opportunity. When we conceded the goal in the second half, the team lost confidence for a while, but they reacted well later on by showing their best selves. In the last minutes of the match, as the score was already high, the players in the frontline –Fortuna, Podense, Jovetic– were open. That was because the score was high. It would not have been so with a different score or in another game. However, from the first minute of the match we played a strong game, we were in control, we created opportunities and it was a well-deserved victory. Both the key players and the opportunities created helped us a lot. We played against a tough opponent; it was not an easy game, even if the result depicts something different. Such games are not easy to win and with a high score. But we must continue to improve some details.

Was it your best performance so far?

No, I don’t think so. Considering we had a hard time finding our connection with our lines. But we showed that we can play smart ball and open the score in a match. We have played other games in which the score was not so high but our duration in the game was better, as was the connection between our lines. The value of winning is greater against an opponent who usually makes things difficult for us. And we won an important victory for what comes next, because it will be a week with continuous and demanding matches. The team’s response to the game and mentality was good.

What do you think is the best part of Olympiacos? Also what details do you want to fix?

Our strongest point is our mentality and the work we put into every training session, as well as the motivation of all the players to believe in themselves, as well as the fact that we are faithful to the plan for each match. There are many details and mistakes to be corrected, but it is unfair to dwell now on what we need to correct. It is difficult for a team that is now being built to achieve so much in a game, and this is our great strength. Equally strong, however, is the presence of our fans, even at the points where our opponent pushed us, the people believed in us and gave us a boost. The support and impetus that the fans give out are our great strength. It is important that everyone in the team understands how difficult our games are and that we focus to the maximum and be ambitious and humble.

We saw Biel and Podence playing together with Fortounis – is this something to consider for the future?

The result is what makes you think that way, this trio was effective, but everyone is necessary in order to make combinations. This is what a team is, testing all the players – there is room for everyone, this was now the most efficient solution. There are various player profiles, opponents. We have quality players and the opportunity to try things out. Today they were good, tomorrow they may not be so. Our team has the ability to change things depending on the opponent and our players’ fitness. This may be what you are looking for, but we are able to try things out and present a different profile each time. We need everyone. They all need to be prepared and we are fortunate to have a roster which allows us to change things around. Two players were left out of the mission today. Some were tired – in two days we have another game and, fortunately, we have the opportunity to make changes thanks to our roster.

What has the technical staff done to Kostas Fortounis that has him appear again following continuous injuries?

His performance is due to his talent and quality, as well as his team and teammates. He has players who can support him and will be by his side even at times when he may not be performing well. We all know that he is a talented footballer who can do a lot on the field – we have given him the freedom to try things. We have other such players on the team and they all need the support of their teammates, and we are happy to be part of such a team. We are still at the beginning of the season and we are happy because the players have the opportunity to rest. Fortounis and Rodiney were fresh because they had rested last time. We provide the players with the energy they need to respond and the opportunity to rest, but we do not sweeten up them too much so that they do not become “diabetic.” It is important to take some rest physically and psychologically. You must have all the players available, because we are still at the beginning and we have a long way to go.

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