Ferreira: “We want to write new history”
The two respective head coaches, Abel Ferreira and Erik ten Hag, spoke to the media ahead of the second leg of the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round between PAOK and Ajax.
In the first leg, PAOK gave an excellent accounts of themselves inside a packed Toumba Stadium, responding to going behind early with clever goals from Chuba Akpom and Leo Matos. However, a defensive error allowed Klaas Jan Huntelaar to equalise in the second half, and Ajax do have the away goal advantage for the return in Holland.
PAOK manager Abel Ferreira has urged his players to write a new chapter in the club’s history books:
Chances of beating Ajax in Amsterdam: “These players - who have already written history with PAOK - want to continue writing it. Our target has not changed; we want to defeat Ajax. I hope that we will play better tomorrow and we are feeling more confident with each passing training session.”
If the scoreline forces him to make changes: “We have some surprises in store for the opponents. We want to play in a more intelligent manner, immediately competing with more aggression.”
Possibility of beating a team which has only lost two of last 41 home games: “This is a big challenge for us. However, in football, everything is possible. I have to hope that my players believe they can do it. They have to follow the plan which we have. In Amsterdam, we have a chance to write a new golden chapter in PAOK’s history, and the players have to give 100% on the pitch. We are ambitious. The players must be focused psychologically.
Chance of Omar El Kaddouri playing: “All players are available for the match.”
Erik ten Hag expects his troops to play better in Amsterdam than in the first leg:
The fact of PAOK not playing in the Super League yet: “This is a good thing for us. We have been improving our form through official games, but the opponents haven’t had this luxury.”
Threat which PAOK pose: “They play with a lot of speed and change the play quickly.
Poor performance in Thessaloniki: “This will not happen again. We have been discussing our tactics for this second match in Amsterdam. Everyone knows what they have to do. I expect that we will have more control of the game.”