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Almeida: “We lacked attention in Toumba, we didn’t change the way we played”


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The lack of attention to details that ultimately made the difference cost the AEK the defeat by PAOK in Toumba, as pointed out by Matias Almeida. The Argentinian coach made it clear that his team has not changed the way they play, while drawing the attention of his players to Asteras Tripoli ahead of Saturday’s match at Opap Arena (17:30).

The statements to COSMOTE TV in detail:

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On what AEK should do better against PAOK: “I think the game was even, I already analyzed it enough. It’s football, the opposition found themselves scoring a goal with a bit of luck, a strange goal. Also, due to the qualifications of its footballers. But the game was even, for almost seventy minutes we played as we usually do. And something I liked was that the team was losing and looking for a way to score. That means real love in what you do.”

On whether he noticed a lack of concentration at times: “Not a lack of concentration, maybe a distraction. As in life, sometimes things can go well, other times not so well. The opponent made very few shots at our goal, but they were successful. We made more shots, but we didn’t find the net. In the second goal we conceded, we had seen over a hundred corners. We knew the ball could get to that point. But this can happen many times, let’s analyze, work on it in training, but the opponent also has some value, he has some qualifications.”

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As for whether it is a challenge for him, in order to create new versions of AEK based on the same game philosophy, the fact that its opponents, even in derbies, now attempt to play defense at lower levels, while when they have the ball avoid the build up, with the opposing goalkeepers “stuffing”: “I believe that in football sometimes no matter how much analysis you do, things may not work out. I have said before that there is no cure for victory. You, for example, may notice that we play manto man. But I can sit down and explain to you that we don’t play man to man. At other times we can exert a kind of pressure, at other times we cannot exert that. So if anyone thinks they have discovered something, I think everything has already been discovered in football. There was no action from the opponent, which created a dangerous phase to score, through a big ball from the goalkeeper. I have heard this comment two or three times in the past few days, that we had been spotted, that we had been “read”.

What had we been “read” into? In the game, based on statistics, we had a higher number of passes, a higher degree of passing efficiency. Through pressure, we were able to drive the opposing central defenders into long balls. Also, due to the pressure, the goalkeeper also played with big balls. And if you compare the previous games as well, we didn’t change the way we play.

We did something similar. The opponent in this case changed the way they play, because they usually develop with build up and they do it well. The opponent we faced is playing good football, I told his coach and I have already stated it.

In football, the scorer always wins. It doesn’t matter how efficient you are in passing, it doesn’t matter how much possession you have. As a coach, however, of course I am interested, because through this I understand that the team is on the right track”.

On the difficulty of the match against Asteras Tripoli: “What we need to know is that this is a difficult opponent. It has players with a lot of experience, players who can handle the pressure. And of course, it has points that can cause us danger. We respect him, like any opponent, but we will try to play our own game.”

Source: Sport Fm

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