Pantelidis: “We must have faith”
The two respective head coaches, Savvas Pantelidis and Erling Moe, spoke to the media ahead of the second leg of the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round tie between Aris and Molde.
Aris require a football miracle. In the first game, Aris endured a nightmare against Molde, conceded three cheap goals to suddenly find themselves facing a large 3:0 deficit with the second leg to be played in Thessaloniki. Nevertheless, despite the mountain Aris have to climb, a quick goal could rattle Molde.
Savvas Pantelidis urged his players to believe:
Belief of progressing: “We lost the first game 3:0 because of our mistakes. After the game, we analysed what would have happened without our errors. Yes, it’s not easy to turn this tie around, but we have a team which always plays well at home. We must have confidence that we can succeed. We have to play with a clear mind both with and without the ball.”
What Aris need to win: “We have to keep the faith. This is the most important thing. If you don’t believe, you can’t win. This is the biggest game of my career so far. We must play against a team which has already competed in 22 official matches this season.”
Amount of goals Aris require: “Last season, we were leading 2:1 against Xanthi in the 60th minute, but the game eventually finished 7:2 in our favour. We had plenty of opportunities against Limassol too. Our players always compete with passion.”
Psychological factor: “We have to put the opponents under pressure. My role is to show faith in the players. We have already spoken about what the result can be if we don’t make the mistakes which were committed in Norway.”
Molde manager Erling Moe doesn’t want his troops to play in a relaxed manner:
Opinion of Aris: “We know that Aris have a good team. They will be aggressive tomorrow, trying to score an early goal. I want us to play in an intelligent manner, not thinking about what happened in the first leg. We want to play our game and achieve the required result to qualify.”
Temperature in Greece: “It’s been hot in Norway for the last few weeks, so this isn’t a problem for us. The heat affects both teams. We will try to keep the ball and force Aris to run without it.”
Chances of qualifying in percentages: “I don’t want to start talking about percentages. We have to manage the game well. Our players cannot relax because of the 3:0 victory in Norway. We must be decisive and aggressive.”