Rival Analysis: Lamia profile
Paokfc.gr’s Rival Analysis column puts the magnifying glass on this week’s opponents Lamia, giving you the lowdown on everything you need to know about the Fthiotida club ahead of our Greek Cup quarter-final first-leg contest at the Toumba Stadium.
The season did not start well for Lamia. While everyone was hoping for a dynamic kick-off as in previous years in order to lay a solid foundation for staying in the top flight, the team collected just two points from their first 10 games, as well as two coaching changes.
George Petrakis, who was appointed in the summer, resigned in October. The 32-year-old coach failed to live up to expectations and the management decided to turn to experience, bringing Babis Tennes back to the club.
However, the experienced coach failed to change the situation and he was shown the exit in December. Michalis Grigoriou took the baton and so far he has proved to be the right solution for the team.
The 48-year-old coach has greatly improved the team’s performances on the pitch, and he has managed to help the club climb away from the bottom positions in the standings. Lamia now have 11 points from 18 games, while they have also played three games less than 12th-placed Panetolikos, who are only two points ahead, meaning that the club now has realistic hopes of avoiding relegation.
With only 10 goals scored though and 30 conceded, it is a given that a lot still needs to change in order for the team to finally achieve its goals, but it seems to be on the right track, with the squad now seeming to possess the necessary depth, quality and experience following the January transfer window.
The likes of Bianconi, Villalba, Vasilogiannis and Niasse may have departed, but some quality players came in to give plenty of options to Grigoriou, with the likes of Angel Martinez, Piti, Ghazaryan, and Manjrekar standing out.
Lamia are now preparing to throw themselves into the battle for the Greek Cup. Initially, lady luck smiled on them in the draw and they earned a bye directly to the quarter-finals. However, in the next draw the Fthiotida club were not so lucky as they were of course paired against the Double-headed Eagle.
Grigoriou will be without the services of the injured attacking midfielders Tyronne and Adama Ba for the first-leg clash at the Toumba.