«Focus for 90 minutes»
Maurício spoke to Novasports TV ahead of Sunday’s clash against Olympiacos for matchday 8 of the Super League Souroti. Here is what the Brazilian player said in detail:
On his birthday:
«On Saturday we have a training session and then we will fly to Athens. In between, I will be at home and I will get the time to celebrate my birthday with my family«.
On the Toumba experience:
«It was an unbelievable experience. I could hardly wait it, having heard so much about PAOK fans. It was impressive to see so many people there. I am eagerly awaiting to experience the same atmosphere during a match as well«.
On the encounter against Olympiacos:
«We expect a tough encounter between two of Greece’s biggest clubs. With all due respect for our rivals, we will play to win. We are strong, we have good players. We will not get intimidated, but will go after the three points. That is what we have been preparing for in the last few days«.
On PAOK’s low point tally away from Toumba:
«It’s a fact that we have underperformed away. We are a new team, with many newcomers. We need a bit of time to bring out on the pitch what our coach is telling us. That is even harder away from Toumba. I trust in our team and I am confident that our team will improve and play a great match on Sunday«.
On the significance of the encounter against Olympiacos:
«Our aim is definitely the league title. All derbies are very tough, but equally important as the rest of the games. Even when we play against sides fighting for survival, we need to collect three points. Therefore all matches matter, the toughest games of course being those against direct rivals with the same aims«.
On his first months at PAOK:
«It was a huge decision to come to Greece. I am a bit affected by the change of city and country and that might be evident on the pitch. But I am adjusting and feeling more at ease as time goes by«.
On what he tells his team-mates before they step out on the pitch:
«I may be experienced, but I am not old! I tell everyone that we need to be focused and do everything in our power to win«.
On his upcoming duel with Odjidja-Ofoe:
«I agree that individual duels are interesting, but the match will be decided by the collective performance. We should be focused for 90 minutes«.
On whether Savvidis told them something specific during Thursday’s open session:
«He told us that we must have concentration, that he believes in our quality and wants to see us fight for the three points«.