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: “And Now, the Final…”

Mendilibar: “And Now, the Final…”

The press conference of José Luis Mendilibar following the match at Leoforos.

Coach José Luis Mendilibar, expressed satisfaction with the performance of Olympiacos in the second-half, as he highlighted in his statements following the 2–2 draw against Panathinaikos at Leoforos.

In detail, the press conference of the Basque coach:

Olympiacos secured their place in Europe, but the team presented two different faces in the game. How do you explain this?

«It’s true that we started poorly in the game; Panathinaikos was better than us in the beginning. We conceded the goal towards the end of the first half, although we could have conceded earlier. This allowed us time to regroup in the locker room and then turn the game in our favor».

Does securing a place in Europe relieve the team from the stress of the Conference League final? Also, is this draw the result of the personalities within Olympiacos, turning the 2–0 deficit into a 2–2 draw?

«Olympiacos’ success is always attributed to the team’s personalities. Our recent good results are a testament to the characters and resilience displayed by the team. While our personalities were not evident in the first half, they shone through during the second, enabling us to overturn the score. As for your second question, while securing a place in Europe may alleviate some pressure, our goal remains unchanged: to win the final. We’ll approach it with less pressure compared to Panathinaikos, who must win to secure a European spot, but our ambition to win remains high».

Following the recent matches, including the one against Aston Villa, where Olympiacos achieved a win, a draw, and a loss, what aspects would you like to maintain, and what adjustments are needed ahead of the final against Fiorentina?

«I want us to perform well consistently, from the first minute to the last, and to give our best effort. Additionally, we must capitalize on the next ten days to prepare thoroughly. I hope all players will be back and ready to contribute, enabling us to field our strongest lineup. We must improve upon our performance, particularly in the first half against Panathinaikos. Our objective is clear: to seize the moment and emerge victorious in the final».

With Olympiacos completing their fixtures and Fiorentina having one match remaining, does this affect the preparation of the two teams? Also, could you provide an assessment of the season and identify areas where Olympiacos fell short?

«The ten-day gap neither grants an advantage nor a disadvantage. Sometimes you feel like there’s time to rest, but at this stage of the season, fatigue is a factor regardless of rest periods. While we can utilize this time to regain some players, but some believe that the extended break may disrupt our rhythm, so I’m not sure how this may impact the situation. Regarding your second question, we missed opportunities, notably against Aris in Thessaloniki, where we could have achieved more, despite a commendable performance. However, our main setback occurred against PAOK, where our performance was lacking, similar to the first half against Panathinaikos».

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