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 Martinez Press Conference

Diego Martinez Press Conference

Words by Olympiacos coach after his side’s away win over Asteras Tripolis.

After the away Asteras Tripolis match ended, the coach of Olympiacos Diego Martinez held a Press Conference.

Below follow details of what the Spaniard said:

Let me first congratulate my players and the entire squad, both the starters and the subs, as well as those who didn’t play. We returned from London at 7.30am, practically sleepless. We had one training session for this match, a tie that always gives us a hard time due to the opponent and the atmosphere. We earned an important win for us, since it was important to return to winning. The match in the UK has been quite demanding and you all know the hardships this team has been through. We had to be absolutely focused to face Asteras; it was a match that gave us a hard time, yet we managed to win. However, we feel proud because this is how football is; one has to fight and strive, despite difficulties, and earn the desired result while evolving. When we prepare a match, we don’t do it with only 11 players but with the entire team because we know subs might be needed along the course of the match. We set out with a player suffering from backpains and we were ready to change hime whenever he would need so. There are always problems; there is no point in telling you who he was. What should happen is for us to always be ready when the team needs us and what matters is to deal with hardships. There is no way all players be at the same state of fitness and readiness; however, they are al useful and they must all help at any given moment.

Do you think that the way the Panathinaikos match developed had an impact on the team’s mental state? Also, Olympiacos is team that moves high on the pitch, they score and then they seem to lose confidence. Asteras could have drawn, out team suffered that against Topola here we also had a player sent-off like last year. Doe this trouble you?

This is football; one might always score or concede a goal; also, West Ham could have suffered a goal after taking the lead. Olympiacos don’t play on their own, there is always an opponent to make things hard for us. In modern football, everything is balanced and everything might happen. Against Topola, we conceded a goal in the closing minutes but that was a special case. A call for a narrow offside, one player sent off, but there is always an opponent playing; we don’t play on our own. Oure team’s performance is good and this is also shown by the numbers. Apart from what has happened outside the pitch, all evidence in both Greece and Europe sows we performed great. In Europe, we deserved something more than what we currently have. As per your other question, we are angry, for sure. It caused frustration in the team because we have been deprived of what we had earned on the pitch, and this is infuriating. However, this how things are, we the players can do nothing and it all depends on the anything and we players have to accept that. We have to consider that a team has both good and bad moments and it all depends on the moments we experience. But this is football, what matters is to overcome difficulties. Just like Asteras Tripolis did. You all know that it has been a challenging Thursday evening for the team, we played a tough opponent, yet we managed to win and we all know how difficult it is to win this championship. But if we do want to get it, we have to do more and better things than others do and one of the things we should do is to overcome hardships.

Once more, we saw Fortounis delivering the goods for Olympiacos. Is this a blessing or is it a sign of dependence and the team has to perform well both with him and without him, just like they did against OFI.

The reply lies within your question; against OFI, we saw that we found solutions without Fortounis and Rodinei. However, the day before the match I had this chat with Kostas and explained him that I’d rather have him playing half the match to fix things instead of having him tired and wear from the beginning following such that demanding West Ham tie. Moreover, what happened in the match was thanks to efforts by the entire team because we knew that once the match opened up, our team had to exploit the momentum. An this was when Fortounis talent emerged and made the difference. Kostas explained to me that he started his career in this team and this was a special day for him; we are so proud of his complement. Βοήθησε he helped us through the season. Those who know Olympiacos more years than I do and, after many years after Fortounis joined Olympiacos, they keep on telling me that Kostas is having his best year so far. Kostas delivers his best year to date of all his year with the club. I am happy for that but this is also thanks to Kostas’ interaction with the team, because it is the team that makes him happy and boosts his confidence and the final outcome is wonderful. Both goals have significant value for us, but I will publicly say what I told Kostas after returning from the U.K. His match against West Ham both offensively and defensively has been a European-level performance and he played fantastically and this is equally important to both goals he scored today. In football, what matters is not the time you play, but the quality you have for while you play. Just like when at home, our time with kids has to be “quality time”,

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