«The team will change level»
Vladan Ivić’s assistant, Giannis Thomaidis, spoke to Novasports TV regarding the encounter against Platanias. Here is what he said:
On victory over FC Slovan Liberec and qualification to the UEFA Europa League last 32 stage:
«It was a very important victory that saw us through to the knockout stage. Greek clubs don’t often make it there. PAOK have celebrated such success in the past, but it had been a while. The timing was excellent. We had been through a dire situation and we managed to get over it and emerge stronger«.
On the situation within the team:
«The atmosphere in the dressing room has always been good. We just lacked some positive results. We needed them, they weren’t coming and we were experiencing back-and-forths in our performance. Now the guys have realized that they need to be concentrated in all matches, in all competitions. I believe that the team will change level from now on«.
On the team’s stay in the hotel:
«It was tough and exigent, but judging from the result, it was beneficiary«.
On the message he was to convey to fans:
«We wish to apologize to fans. We have upset them considerably. We send them to seventh heaven and on the following week we send them crashing. Hopefully we will stabilize our performance and be focused towards our aim. Right now we are at a tight spot in the league. It’s embarrassing to be so low in the standings, we don’t deserve it. That is what we need to prove on the pitch, starting with the encounter against Platanias. We must show the same focus that we had in our Europa League match. That is what our fans want to see us do«.
On the encounter against Platanias and the possibility of rotation:
«We will talk about it and decide. We need to see how the guys are doing and choose the best possible line-up«.
On Sunday’s rival:
«Platanias are a very good and solid team. Their main characteristic is that they can play well both at home and away. They don’t defend in numbers. They are capable of closing down spaces, but also keep their defence high up –and that spells danger for their rivals. However, with all due respect to Platanias and Mr Paraschos, I believe that the outcome depends on us and our will to win«.