And suddenly, things are looking up
Paokfc.gr’s Rival Analysis column puts the magnifying glass on Thursday’s (23.01) opponents Lamia, giving you the lowdown on everything you need to know about the Fthiotida club ahead of our Super League Matchday 20 encounter.
The current season began amidst much uncertainty. After last season’s exceptional return in which the club finished the season in seventh place and reached the semi-finals of the Greek Cup, playing some great football along the way, everyone expected more of the same this time round.
However, uncertainty surrounding the club’s administration and the rumors of Mr. Papaioannou’s departure, as well as the sudden departure of coach Makis Chavos and the weakening of the squad brought plenty of black clouds.
At the end of the summer pre-season period, everything finally was put into some semblance of order with Sotiris Antoniou taking over as coach, the squad strengthened and it seemed that the club would emerge from the dead-end it had apparently arrived at.
The start, however, was disappointing, resulting in Antoniou parting company with the club at the end of October. That was the key moment in the season, though, as it seems right now.
Akis Mantzios came in and from that moment the team has never looked back. Improvements have been made across the board and after a strong of solid results, the team has moved away from the danger zone.
Lamia are now in 10th place in the standings with 23 points, with the prospect of getting dragged into the relegation dogfight slipping away.
The club’s top scorer is Rogerio Thuram with six goals. Unfortunately for Lamia, however, his exploits attracted the interest of Turkish club Konyaspor who he recently joined. Danny Bejarano and Lazar Romanic are the two players who are carrying most of the attacking burden, while Vanderson, Giannis Skondras, Elini Dimoutsos and Vasilis Pliatsikas make up the spine of the team, providing quality and experience mainly in the defensive areas. Brazilian Miguel Bianconi has been drafted in to fill the void left by Thuram. Bianconi has been a bit hit for Platanias in Super League 2, Greece’s second tier.