Martins: “Our attacking performance has to improve”
Both Pedro Martins and Giorgos Masouras spoke to the media ahead of the second leg of the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round between Olympiacos and Basaksehir.
Last week, Olympiacos clinched a vital 1:0 victory in Turkey, as Giorgos Masouras glanced Mathieu Valbuena’s superb cross beyond the goalkeeper to secure an important lead in the tie. However, despite the advantage, Olympiacos cannot afford to take their foot off the gas against a dangerous Basaksehir side. Incidentally, Basaksehir boss Okan Buruk will miss the game after receiving a suspension from UEFA for his behaviour in the first match.
The winners will play either FC Porto or Krasnodar in the playoffs. Porto defeated Krasnodar 1:0 in Russia in the first leg.
A cautious Pedro Martins isn’t taking Basaksehir lightly:
Factor of being favourites: “The victory in Turkey does not mean we are favourites. It only means that we have a 1:0 lead in the tie. There are still 90 minutes remaining. A major advantage for us is our fans. However, we must not underestimate the opponents, because they have a squad with high quality players. We are preparing for this game like we always do. We must play with full seriousness and concentration.”
Different tactics for the second leg: “Our attacking performance has to improve. Apart from a few individual mistakes, we were solid in defence. This will be a completely different match in comparison to the first game on the road. If the opponents don’t create the same problems for us, they will be dangerous in different ways. We must give a good tactical performance and play without individual errors. Our goal is always to win.”
Possible Daniel Podence injury and Basaksehir threat: “Daniel Podence trained carefully and will play. We expect Basaksehir to play very well, especially when you consider that they have great players who are used to competing in intimidating atmospheres. Basaksehir will make our life difficult.”
Expectations for Basaksehir: “In comparison to the first game, Basaksehir will have a more compact formation while passing the ball better. If we make mistakes, they will punish us. Their players have played in tough atmospheres before. At this stage of the season, all teams are improving with every passing week.”
Giorgos Masouras, the Olympiacos hero in Turkey, also shared his expectations for the match:
Promise of scoring again: “Personally, I want to give 100% for the club and I can promise that will happen. However, I cannot promise anything else.”
Psychological pressure of these matches: “Olympiacos players must be capable of coping with the pressure at this club. As for this game, we are well prepared and there is nothing to be afraid of.”