Van ‘t Schip: “We must build for the future”
Ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier against Italy in Rome, both John van ‘t Schip and Konstantinos Stafylidis shared their expectations in the press-conference.
Italy, who are six points ahead of second-placed Finland at the top of Group J, can seal qualification for Euro 2020 with a victory at the Stadio Olimpico. However, it’s a very different situation for Greece, with the Ethniki Omada languishing in fifth position and trailing the Finns by seven points.
Greek national team head coach John van ‘t Schip explained his targets for the game:
The contrasting targets for the two teams in this match: “Roberto Mancini has done a great job by leading Italy to the competition, they only need one more victory to confirm their qualification. Unfortunately, we haven’t performed well in these qualifiers, but we want to turn the situation around. We want to play better in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying process and the next UEFA Nations League. We will use these matches to see which players will be able to help us.”
Issue surrounding Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Kostas Manolas: “Yes, they are not in the squad for these two games, but that does not mean that they won’t participate in future matches. We need to see what different players are capable of. In truth, we don’t have a lot of options for the centre-back position, so this game gives us an opportunity to see what others players can do.”
Expectations for the match in Rome: “I want us to fight and follow the game plan. We have to be competitive against a great team, while building for the future at the same time.”
Fear of his changes backfiring: “No, I am not afraid at all, this is why I am here. They asked me to start rebuilding the team. When the process begins, the results might not be the ones which you want.”
Left-back Konstantinos Stafylidis is focused on Greece’s performance rather than the chance to spoil the Italian qualification party:
Expectations for playing against Italy: “We certainly understand what the fans demand, and we will do our best for the Ethniki.”
Motivation for the remaining Euro 2020 qualifiers and the coaching situation: “We respect what the coach says, all of the squad decisions are his choices. We always have motivation to represent the national team.”
Desire to spoil the Italian celebration: “For us, the most important thing is to play well. We’re not worrying about their celebrations. We don’t care if we are playing against Armenia or Italy, we want to play good football and correct our current situation.”