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
Mendilibar: “We were good in the first half as well, but failed to score”

Mendilibar: “We were good in the first half as well, but failed to score”

The coach of Olympiacos, José Luis Mendilibar, spoke at the press conference, following the end of the match against Asteras Tripolis at “G. Karaiskakis.”

The “red-and-whites” won 2–1 and the Legend’s experienced coach stressed that his team made a good appearance in the first half of the match, but failed to score.

In detail, José Luis Mendilibar’s statements at the press conference:

This match was the most difficult so far. After the end of the match several players kneeled due to fatigue. Was this one of the reasons why this game got so difficult?
We can’t use fatigue as an excuse. We have accepted that we are going to be playing every three days and this is why we make substitutions – something that all major teams participating in multiple competitions do. However, fatigue was also one of the causes, but we should also recognise the opponent’s value –who pushed us quite hard– and became a threat even when we were leading 2–1. Fatigue was also an issue, but we made substitutions and we cannot be using it as an excuse.

What is the “key” for Olympiacos to beat the opponents as well as fatigue?
We have to accept the schedule as it is. We have a big roster and there will be substitutions – the solution is to use various players, without changing our concept of the game.

Was Biancon’s substitution forced? Also, we expected Masouras to play, since he was rested.
Biancon’s subtitution was a tactical move. I choose the lineups, I make the decisions. Following that, you either receive positive or negative judgement. I have 28 players and I make my choices hoping for the best result.

Do you believe that the substitutions were the “key” for the upset? Not just El Kaabi’s move, who scored two goals, but in general.
We did not want the opponent to surprise us, that is, not to give them the opportunity to escape, to get ball possession swiftly and be good at offence. We achieved this in the second half. The substitutions are not the only thing to thank for the victory, because we created opportunities in the first half as well, but we failed to score. However, the substitutions led us to what we wanted, our defence improved and we scored goals, but we had our opportunities in the first half as well.

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