“Focused on winning”
Omar El Kaddouri spoke live to Novasports TV ahead of the upcoming encounter against Panionios for matchday 2 of Super League Souroti. Read what he said regarding the Nea Smyrni match, the Champions League adventure and the group stage of the Europa League.
On what he keeps from the Champions League “journey”:
“Our opening fifteen minutes against Benfica were very good, as well as the Toumba vibe. I will always keep that in my memory”.
On how PAOK need to handle the whole situation:
“Only a few believe we would make it to the group stage, most said we lacked Benfica’s quality. Perhaps there is disappointment from the elimination, but there is also pride for the effort and our team in general”.
On the crowd’s response after the loss to the Portuguese side:
“The fans’ reaction was amazing. They stood by our side in all six qualifying encounters, both at home and away. They were also sad because of the elimination, but their reaction was incredible. It may not usually happen in Europe, but for us it was really overwhelming”.
On the UEFA Europa League group stage:
“We will prepare for this competition just like we did for the Champions League. It’s a European competition and fans are very interested in it. Hopefully we will have good games and the fans will enjoy them. There are many big clubs participating, such as Arsenal, Chelsea…”.
On his preference:
“If I were to choose, I would go for strong opponents as an opportunity to measure our strength. Managing to qualify from such a group will be the proof of our team’s competitive level and its capabilities”.
On the encounter against Panionios:
“We need to be concentrated. Let’s not forget that we carry a ban of two-point deduction in the league. Panionios are a very good team, we had a tough match against them last season, therefore we need to stay focused to win”.
How difficult is the transition from the UEFA Champions League to Super League football:
“It can prove complicated, if we are not focused. We must hit the switch button right away in order to respond as best as we can. As I said earlier, Panionios are a very good team, finished 5th in the league and we need to put on our best performance”.