Skibbe still positive after Switzerland loss
The senior Greek national team took on Switzerland at the Olympic Stadium in Athens, losing 0:1 in a drab first friendly match of 2018.
Playing at a practically empty OAKA, the Greeks rarely got a sight of the Swiss net, failing to register a shot on target and conceding a cheap goal defensively early in the second half. Lazaros Christodoulopoulos injected some well-needed energy after his introduction, but Greece didn’t ever look like equalising.
Nevertheless, despite the defeat, head coach Michael Skibbe was feeling positive: “I think that we saw a very interesting game, we created a lot of opportunities,” stated the 52-year old German. “Unfortunately, we conceded a goal on the counterattack, but we were dominating until that moment. I am pleased with the substitutes, they added freshness to the team and raised the performance level. We have three more friendly matches for preparation, I am happy to see new players like Nikolaos Karelis, Dimitris Pelkas and Efthymis Koulouris who can all help the team.”
Swiss boss Vladimir Petkovic felt satisfied that his players improved greatly in the second half: “We didn’t hold the ball well in the first half, making some mistakes. However, after the break, we forced Greece into errors and managed to score a goal. I liked the way we adjusted in the second half, we improved against an excellent opponent with high level players.”
Right-back Michalis Bakakis, who made his long-awaited return to the national team, was happy that he received game time. “I am very happy to be back with the Ethniki Omada as a result of my good performances with AEK,” revealed Bakakis. “We have a good atmosphere within the team. There are players in our team who can play at a high level.”
Captain Vassilis Torosidis added that a draw would have been a fair result: “Today is the start of a new beginning for us. I believe that we will make the right conclusions from these friendly matches, a draw would have been a more fair result in this game.”