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
Medilibar: “Victories until the final”

Medilibar: “Victories until the final”

The press conference of José Luis Mendilibar, after the 2–0 victory over AEK.

José Luis Mendilibar, the coach of Olympiacos, expressed satisfaction with his team’s victory and performance against AEK, securing a 2–0 win at “G. Karaiskakis.”

In detail, the Basque coach’s press conference following the match with AEK:

We see Olympiacos pressing and maintaining consistency in their game after European matches. What is the recipe for achieving this?

Proper recovery is our primary objective, and then we prepare the players mentally. Although we won and AEK had some good opportunities to score at 0–0, we handled the game better than we did against PAOK and corrected the mistakes we made in that game’s preparation. We showed that we learned our lesson and were well-prepared.

What are this victory’s gains ahead of the two matches remaining in the season?

It was really important to win after our previous defeat, and we didn’t want a second one because we have the final. It’s important for our mentality to maintain a winning mindset. We must remember what it’s like to win and always have that mindset, leaving every game with a victory. So, we should quickly forget what happened with PAOK and move on in this way.

Was the preparation for the match against AEK a rehearsal for the final?

All games are a rehearsal, not just one, and winning wasn’t just today’s goal. Just as the match with PAOK was a rehearsal, so will be the one against Panathinaikos because we want to continue this way, to win. It’s very important for us to show what we can do in all games.

What would have happened if you had joined Olympiacos earlier? Also, you seem to trust a player from the second team, Apostolopoulos, in historic matches like the one against Aston Villa. Is this a message for the kids in the Academy, ahead of the new season?

You can never predict that; I took over the team under those specific circumstances. The situation could have been worse two months before I took over; you never know what might happen. When I joined Olympiacos, there were 28 players on the roster, which means it’s difficult to offer opportunities to everyone. Yet, now, it is a particular set of circumstances because if Ortega and Richards weren’t injured, I might not have found the time to include Apostolopoulos. We were bold in using him, and he took advantage of it. This is a special circumstance and it’s important for the player himself as well as the other academy players, who are being taught that they should always be prepared because you never know when the opportunity may arise.

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