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23/10/2000

Latest interview..

Latest interview..

-What are the chances of qualifying for the final round of the World Cup?

There are still chances of qualifying. We should consider of how we will overcome a situation when that arises and not beforehand. Of course valuable ground was lost with the loss from Albania, where we could have done a big step forwards and things could have been different now. At this point we are very pressed, as we do not have the option of any other home result, both with Germany and England, but a win. If things were different we would have more space. No we cannot afford a negative result. We have our back to the wall.

-After Keagan's resignation there is this whole subject for the team's new coach, which the English insist should come from their country. Do you agree with this?

No. The coach should be judged from his results and not from where he originates. I find it absurd in these days and age to talk about things like this, when the amounts of money in football are so high. It might be that the National Team is a different thing, more romantic if you want, but still what matters in the end is the result.

-What do you think about the European games of the Greek teams?

I think Olympiakos and Panathinaikos have a big chance this week to gain an advantage. However even if the don't manage to do this they will have the opportunities to overcome any obstacles in the future. Especially Olympiakos, who is in an easier situation than Panathinaikos.

-What about the UEFA?

PAOK has a very difficult game against Udineze, which I don't think he can win. It will be a small miracle if he can win. The team that AEK plays is relatively unknown so it is considered an easy game. Iraklis has some chances against Kaiserslautern as they show that the will be improving in the near future, and as for OFI the team is going through a rough patch at the moment and I think this could have a negative influence for them.

-What do you think about your old team, Olympiakos, from what they have shown up to now?

There are some periods that the team plays really well, but there are also some dry patches. However this happens to all teams, and at this point, with all the problems in the Greek championship, it is difficult to have a steady good performance. Olympiakos hasn't got a problem having so many good players, although this could cause some kind of problem with many of the key players not been used do much.

-There has been talk for many years in Piraeus for the transfer of a good defender. Could this player be Nikos Dabizas?

I would not want to talk for me. I o not think that with the acquisition of one player the team's problems will be solved at once. We are talking about a team with an attacking attitude, where if all the players move forward they will leave holes in the back. Olympiakos' fans want to see an attacking team. We cannot always blame the defenders, and I am not just saying this because I am a defender myself. All of the coaches have kept an attacking stance, but I do believe that Olympiakos does not lack a good defender but instead of a leading figure that will organise the team's game.

-Could this leader be you? Do you think of returning?

There is always the chance of return, but I think that it is still early days and the timing is not right yet for me to be coming back. When I see that there is some real interest from some team and I feel that my international career has been enough for me, I might come back. I believe that I have still room for improvement but if I see that I do not really benefit from staying abroad I will then come back.

-When you decide to return to Greece what team will have the first choice?

Whatever team wants me. I have had both good and bad times in Olympiakos. Through the bad times I respected the team and I believe that I have contributed a bit as well. If Olympiakos is interested in the future no one can tell what will happen, but if not and I am planning to return and they do not need a defender what should I do? Beg them to take me to the team?

-What is the image the Greek championship shows abroad, with all that is happening, like the cancellation of the championship that the National Football association decided last week?

I do not think that the interest themselves with the Greek championship so as to know. Still though it affects both teams and players very negatively. It might be good temporarily for the teams that play in Europe since they are less pressed, but apart from that it causes many problems

-What are the differences in the organisation of the Greek and English championships?

The differences are so big we cannot compare the two. It is not only the way they are organised but the games as well. The pace is quicker; the referee does not interrupt the game as easily. But the structure is different as well. The fans are easier to satisfy. English teams have a different style and this does not mean that is played with long shots as many say. It has technical intricacies, which I have seen personally not only in Newcastle but in teams we've played against like Manchester, Chelsea and Arsenal.

 

232 Appearances in England (175 for Newcastle United, 18 for Leicester in the Premier League and 39 for Leicester in the Championship). Total League-Cup-Europe appearances 550. National Team appearances 70. Goals total 40.