«Focused on the three points»
Răzvan Lucescu spoke to Novasports TV ahead of the upcoming encounter of AEL in Larissa.
Regarding the problems ahead of the Larissa match:
«Every week is special for us. We are used to it. We always play to win, therefore nothing changes. We are prepared to go to Larissa, fight and win. Akpom is ruled out, as well as Henrique. It all suggests that El Kaddouri will also be sidelined«.
On the anniversary of PAOK and what the “Double-Headed Eagle” means to him:
«I could talk non stop about PAOK and what they are to me, but one thing is certain: they are not just another club on my resume. They are fantastic, huge, complicated at the same time, but not just another team. They instill huge passion, but also exercise extreme pressure to the players, as well as indescribable happiness. I hope and wish things will go as we have planned and we will celebrate on Sunday«.
Whether PAOK have their luck in their hands, regarding the league title:
«I have already answered that. We will try to be focused in the match. It’s a tough game against a team with specific football style, good organization and athletic skills. They go for the long crosses, fight for every second ball, they are strong in defence –that goes without saying as they have an Italian coach. So, we are totally focused on these three points up for grabs. We need to maintain the same philosophy, with the right mentality without dwelling on what might happen after the match. For us now, it’s all about the match and the three points. Everyone is aware of the importance of this occasion. As a team though, we are focused on the three points«.
On whether it’s complicated to maintain his players’ focus intact:
«I made that already clear. I told you that we are focused on these three points. We are a team, concentrated on three points and we have worked on that during the week«.
On whether he is concerned with the injuries:
«No, I never worry about such situations. Along with my assistants, we try to encounter the best possible solution. We trust in our job and in the players of our squad. Every time we had to replace a player due to special circumstances, the team reacted very well. Let me add this. Despite the negative aspect of a player getting injured, such situations can prove positive for the team. They create additional motives for the rest of the squad, especially for those players who feel disappointed for not being regulars. They get to feel part of the team«.
Whether planning for the next season is already underway:
«This question is actually very “fast forward”. It leaps over a huge part of the current season, the most important actually. I don’t discuss our next season’s plans. We are focused on the job at hand. It’s not personal, I am not discussing this with you or anyone else«.
On Sunday’s game:
«I have already spoken about the game’s difficulty level. We need to step into the encounter with total focus, be alert at all times, go for every ball, “fight” and try to impose our game and disrupt the plans of our opponents«.