‘Mavro’ cautious of Olympiacos counter-attacking policy


‘Mavro’ cautious of Olympiacos counter-attacking policy

By Hughie Southon

Konstantinos Mavropanos looks booked for a spot ay central defence in the match against Olympiacos after making the journey back to his home city with the Hammers and is cautious of the Olympiacos counter attack policy

Born in Athens, he is looking forward to making an impact again as he has done whenever involved with the Hammers this season when looing a very good signing.

He grew up with the opportunity of watching the of the big sides in the city – Olympiacos, Panathinaikos and AEK Athens. And ahead of this game has  according to manager David Moyes – been marking his card in helping him to masses the areas the Irons will need to address tonight

Commenting on his return to the city Mavropanos declared: “It’s a good feeling to come back home and play against a good team like Olympiacos. It’s a good feeling to be back at home, but when the referee blows his whistle to start the game, then I will be ready.”

He knows the sort of passion the home fans will generate in the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium.

While the Irons suffered defeat last time out, away to Aston Villa, the centre-back believes the team have the ability to bounce back on the European stage.

He said: “I think the last game I played against Olympiacos was at this stadium, for a Greek team [PAS Giannina], and it’s always good to come back here and play against them. 

“The Olympiacos fans, they are so passionate with their football, and they will be a tough opponent tomorrow because the fans will give them more energy during the game.”

Olympiacos really good in the counter attack

“Olympiacos have good individual players and they are really good in the counter-attack. They have some points we have to take care of. It will definitely be a tough game. 

 Mavropanos heads into training for the Olympiacos game 

We always follow the plan of the coach. We have a good team and our set pieces are one of the parts of the game that we want to make goals from. We’ve seen it in a couple of games that we can do this and I think this is going to be one of the parts we need to utilise tomorrow.

“The game against Aston Villa, we didn’t get the result that we wanted. But the schedule in English football is really busy and I think, after the game, you have to start focusing on the next one really quickly. We are ready for this game against Olympiacos. We are well prepared.”

Having played the full 90 minutes in the two other Group A matches played so far this season, Mavropanos will be eager for another start against a team he saw play often as a child.

The Greek is loving his east London life declaring:  “West Ham were the winner of the UEFA Europa Conference League and has a big history as well, so I didn’t have to think about the move too much. I was really happy when I had the offer and I immediately said yes. 

“It’s really good to be part of this team and the manager tries to help me a lot, as does his coaching staff, so I’m feeling good at West Ham United.”

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon