Almeida: “It would surprise me if AEK didn’t play like this – I want us to go for more”


Matias Almeida commented on the difficult schedule that AEK has completed at the press conference after the victory over Panathinaikos in Leoforos.

The coach of the “yellow and black” spoke about the pressure exerted by his team and the problem that Callens faced, while he also referred to the psychology that prevails in the team at the moment.

In detail, what the press conference said:

On the difficult schedule of three games that AEK successfully completed and the secret behind it: “It’s a set of things. It is the work that we do as a whole and of course the players. We still have many difficult games ahead of us.”

On whether he himself is surprised by the pressing that the team does and the many positions in which they can respond: “No, I’m not surprised. I would be surprised if they didn’t do that. Because since the first day I’ve been here we’ve been working a lot on possession and pressure. Every game and every opponent is special. There is a lot of study on opponents.

I try to talk a lot with the players so we don’t get stuck on what’s going on. As a professional and because I love this game we have to go for more. The coach must have demands from the players. These three matches went well, but surely if the results were different we would be talking on a different basis. But I wouldn’t change my job. Today ends a day positively for many reasons, but there is no time to celebrate because in three days we play again”.

On Callens transfer and his problem: “I can say that I know him. When I was in the US, Cullens played in a very good team. The system they played there was similar to ours. He was in too good a mood and appetite to come when I called him.

I sure would have liked to have been able to train him a bit more before this match. It makes sense that he’s not quite ready. Another coach, another place, other teammates. The minutes of participation he had will help him. As for his problem he had cramps. It’s normal for the pace we play. It needs adjustment time. Every time a player makes his debut and the team wins I’m happy.”

On whether winning the double helps the team’s psychology: “I don’t think that affects it. The double will certainly remain in their minds, but it remained in the team’s history. I think that the double leaves a feeling that you belong somewhere and are part of a group. Then everyone has different mindsets. All the football player wants is for you to be honest with him and trust him when you make mistakes. This happened to me when I was a player and no coach told me to have fun when I play a derby.

I always tell players to have fun because phones run out fast. When you stop playing the phone stops ringing. One thing remains in football. Obviously the wins. Then there is the human part, which is also important: what we can leave with our passage from football. When I stopped, the phone stopped ringing. While I was playing I was handsome, tall and blue-eyed: as you can see that’s not the case (laughs).”

As for whether he would urge Szymanski to learn the stopper’s position: “I consider that Szymanski is a player who can play in two and three positions. Szymanski was invited to play there and did well. When the defensive midfielder plays as a stopper he has more time to give solutions and more time to act. In a derby that was tense he did quite well one-on-one, even in the penalty shootout (for Brighton).”

For the feeling that had been created with the mediocre results at the beginning and whether the last matches are an answer: “I see each day separately. Now I also realize that repeating something similar to last year is difficult. That’s why it happened 3 times in 100 years. I want us to be competitive, to be protagonists and to always try to be like that on the pitch and to work with humility. From January until the end of the season we have 30 matches. We have to go game by game.”

On whether he wants to comment on some decisions of the referee: “I prefer not to speak. Then tomorrow I will go out everywhere that I spoke badly about the referee. It’s better to just say that AEK won 1-2″.

See also his statements on COSMOTE TV after the end:

Source: Sport Fm

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