José Alberto Cañas spoke to Novasports TV, ahead of the upcoming encounter in Larissa against AEL. Here is the Spanish midfielder’s interview:
On his form:
«I am well. I have been well for the last two months. I might not be a regular anymore, but I have accepted it. I am ready to play, to get on the pitch, ready for all upcoming games«.
On how he handles the situation in the second part of the season:
«It has been tough because of the injury, but then I joined trainings. With several newcomers in the squad, I didn’t have the opportunity to play regularly. But, OK, that’s football. I train hard every day in order to remain a valuable member of the team and be able to play when called. That is not what I want of course. But the coach gets to decide whether I will play or not, not me«.
On the team’s form:
«Our team is ready to win the last three fixtures of the league and the semi-final against Asteras Tripolis. We have a winning mentality. That’s the main characteristic of PAOK. I feel lucky and blessed to be a part of the team for three years. This mentality only gets stronger with each passing year. Especially in the current season, this winning mentality has been enhanced and that factor has led us towards the league title and hopefully to the Greek Cup final«.
Whether he expected PAOK to enjoy such a season:
«I have always believed in my team, regardless of circumstances, matches or opponents. I believe a lot in this team. It’s an unbelievable side, due to the winning mentally I mentioned earlier. We get on the pitch, give it 100%, win and then automatically shift our focus to the next match in order to win again. That’s the most important factor. It’s us who made this season possible«.
How he experiences the fans’ love and the league title party already underway:
«When the season started, everyone was on our side –that’s imperative for a team. Our fans supported us with every opportunity they got. PAOK fans are unbelievable. They are always there and support us until the end. Perhaps that explains our perfect league record in Toumba this season. It also explains why we feel like playing at home in many of our outings. I am so happy for them, because they have been deprived of such joy for many years. In recent seasons though, they feel excited and happy for the team. They know that all players give their 100% in every match. If we manage to win the league title, it will be for them and because of them. Because they trusted in us«.
Regarding the encounter against AEL in Larissa:
«Our main concern right now are the injuries. Various important players, such as Pedro Henrique and Omar El Kaddouri suffered injuries. That’s bad for us, because we have a tough match ahead. AEL are in need of points to improve their position in the standings. We play to win the league title. It’s not the toughest game we’ve had, but the objectives ahead make it tough. However, if we perform as we have been throughout the season, if we keep the same mentality and competitive edge, I predict a problem-free encounter. I believe and hope we will win, seal the league title and prepare for the next game. This match however is of the utmost importance right now. Let us win it, snatch the league title, enjoy it a bit –because we need that too- and then focus on the next match«.
On the club’s anniversary:
«The club’s anniversary makes me happy. I have enjoyed my time here during the last three seasons and I enjoy being able to share this happiness and special day for PAOK. I don’t know what else to say… I wish the best to the club. During my stay, I have won trophies, appreciated the presence of so many people, my teammates, everyone who stood by me, the fans. I am very happy and very proud to play for this club«.