Bernard: “This year I’m trying to threaten more – Ioannidis made fun of me”

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THE Panathinaikos continued “absolute” in the championship, as he won by a score 5-0 Panaitolikos in Agrinio, starring Bernard Duarte.

The Brazilian midfielder had his best game in green as he scored just the second hat-trick of his career to lead his side to victory. After the match, Bernard talked about the different, more active offensive role he has in his plan this year Ivan Jovanovichwhile commenting on the upcoming match with Villarreal but also a… joke made on him by Fotis Ioannidis.

In detail what he said:

On how important the victory was for Panathinaikos, after a very “full” performance from both him and the rest of the team:

“We all knew how important it was to return from the break of the National Teams, after a match in Ioannina, in which we didn’t play very well, we didn’t make many chances and we didn’t play our own football. Certainly in that match at the end of the day we got the three points and that was the most important thing. In this match against Panaitolikos we played with a different style and concentration. It was important to win and gain confidence for the very next game (including Villarreal) which is a very big and different game. I am very happy that I was able to help the team with the three goals I scored. I definitely always look for the above and try to do it on the field…”

On how good it is for the psychology and overall mentality of the team, such a win before the game against Villarreal in the Europa League group stage opener:

“We are playing at home and our fans will come again by the thousands to the stadium. It will be a completely different match, talking about the intensity of the match, the way we will play… We have to prepare very well for this match. Let’s rest well, recover well, eat and sleep the next few days well because we know how important it is to start the group phase with great intensity.”

On the fact that at some point he will have to make the… table for Fotis Ioannidis, who got him another assist this season:

“(s.s. Laughs). He used to make fun of me and say to me in the match “nice, you scored three goals, try to create something for me too now”. I tried, but sometimes it’s hard to get a pass through. I found those opportunities to execute and score. Sometimes last season I didn’t find those phases to score inside or outside the area, but this time I found the opportunities to do it. And it’s important for me to boost my confidence and help my teammates.”

On the fact that this year he plays closer in the area and has the opportunity to “threaten” more often:

“In some games the opponents press us and I try to play a bit further back to help the team to create more spaces and bring the ball into attack so at times I was too far out of the area. And because of that I wasn’t creating as many opportunities on an individual level. This year I’m trying to be closer to the striker and in the area and find some space to threaten the opposition goal.”

Source: Sport Fm

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