Lucescu: “There is a strong motivation to play with the right mentality”


Razvan Lucescu highlighted the right mentality his team will need to display as the key ingredient to victory against Eintracht.

The PAOK coach, in the press conference ahead of tomorrow’s match, spoke about his team’s victory, the way he will face Germanos, the changes he intends to make, and the integration of the new players into the roster.


For tomorrow’s game and team situation: “At this stage, every footballer is motivated and confident, so you can overcome anything. I see that the team is fine, yesterday we had the time even for a little while – as not many hours have passed since the last derby – to train all together. This is a very important element and in general, from the beginning of the season until today, I see the team constantly moving forward and this includes tomorrow’s game as well”

On how Eintracht should be dealt with: “Respect should always be there, regardless of the opponent. If you don’t, it’s the first step to failure. At the same time, you should enter the field with confidence for your team and for the work and preparation you have done for this game. Our players know very well what the opponent represents. Eintracht is not an easy opponent at all. They are in a situation where they don’t win easily, they are a young team with enthusiasm and their players may be led to a few mistakes, however, they are a good team with quality. In football, the team that is statistically better doesn’t always win. We have to play with the right mindset, dominate the game when we want to, react when we lose the ball and take advantage of every moment.

On his team and changes: “”Initially I don’t want to say that there is a rotation. I have a set of players that I want to use. I want to express it – personally – as the use of the roster. Mental freshness is very important for these games. We should be looking for solutions and players who have this. There are many emotions, the information that the players have to process and if you don’t have this mental freshness you risk not having the right reactions and not moving correctly on the field. Everyone should be asked to understand these choices and how they are made. If he insists on not doing so, he will automatically exclude himself, because he will not be able to follow this.

There are also the individual characteristics and quality that we have to bring to each game. Andre is the perfect example. He is the best of the best, but unfortunately he can’t play in all the games and we will have to pick the games he will play and help us with his quality. Football and how it has shaped itself after Covid, is another parameter. You can change 5 players at some stage of the match and give your team a boost. It is very important and it is up to the players to understand that it is not a problem to stay on the bench. If they understand that, it’s a weapon in the hands of any team.”

On how he will approach tomorrow’s game given the Eintracht results: “I wish football was that easy and we knew everything through statistical analyses. The Bundesliga is one of the most difficult leagues. The truth is that the Greek league is also difficult, it may not be at its best, but it is difficult. It is mainly characterized by the defensive approaches of the opponents. Whichever team you look at, you will see that they have elements, Lamia, OFI, Asteras, PAS are teams that can create problems. Playing with these teams is not easy. As far as the opponent is concerned, it doesn’t matter how many goals they score or concede. Their games in the league can give us some conclusions, but there is a bigger plan that we will have to carry out in order to continue.”

To onboard new players: “I completely agree with you that there are some problems in the spiritual part. Whether I agree, of course, is completely different from whether we should force them to enter a process to integrate as soon as possible. It’s very different to have players coming in at one point of the year with games every 2-3 days. We play a match on Sunday and on Monday and Tuesday we train with 11-12 players. On Wednesday we all train with low intensity because we play on Thursday and so, the same applies after that.

We have again on Friday and Saturday two training sessions with players who did not play, low intensity, one day before the game and automatically there is no normal process. The legitimate thing is for the players to come at the beginning of the preparation. It is also important that they understand the league. In Greece there are five big teams and in the championships that were, this might not have happened. Things are different here. The players have the individual quality, like Despodov who gave us the goal and essentially the win against Helsinki.

If you’re asking me when the players will be fully integrated, I’ll tell you in January. I’m talking about a total integration of the players and each other. Meite had a difficult summer, training alone and it’s completely different to play every 2-3 days. Ozdoev had -also- a strange summer, he was pushing to leave, he was in and out and it came to a point where we were fighting for qualification. Despodov, you know when he came, he went straight to the National Team. The players must understand what we have to do, but beyond understanding, the point is to apply what we say in practice on the pitch. The same goes for Samata.”

Source: Sport Fm

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