By Nemanja Bjedov
APOLLON coach Christakis Christoforou was pleased with his side’s overall effort in a 2-0 Europa League loss to Legia Warszawa on Thursday night at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia and is convinced that his players have what it takes to advance further next season.
“After seeing the pitch before the kick-off I altered the gameplan and told my players to try to go forward by using more long passes in order to minimise passing mistakes. In the second half we managed to create more chances than we did in the first half, unfortunately we conceded both goals from set pieces which had been our strong point this season both in Cyprus and in Europe,” assessed Christoforou whose side is currently second in the national championship where they take on Aris on Monday night.
“We brought Apollon into Europe and I am sure that we have enough strength to do the same next year. It is definitely within our reach to do so and even do better in the competition,” Christoforou concluded.
League leaders AEL host AEK Kouklion on Saturday evening at 7pm, while in the opening game of Round 13 Nea Salamina take on Alki at 5pm at the Ammochostos Stadium in Larnaca.
An hour later, AEK face Doxa Katokopia at the GSZ Stadium.
On Sunday afternoon at 5pm Enosis Neon Paralimni host Ethnikos Achnas, while at 6pm Ermis meet Anorthosis in what should be a tight local derby taking into consideration the Aradippou side’s form.
APOEL’s Europa League adventure was concluded in Frankfurt with a 2-0 loss to Group F winners Eintracht on Thursday, with the Cypriot champions’ coach Giorgos Donis now turning his focus to domestic matters when his team take on Omonia in the biggest match on the Cypriot football calendar on Monday evening at 7pm.
“After our new signings are in, they will represent the beginning of our summer reform and I have to tell you that we are very ambitious. We have two more games in December and I believe that all four new players will be at my disposal for the game against AEL in early January,” said Donis after the loss in Germany.
“What is now important are the next two games, and that is what we will fully focus on,” he concluded.
Anorthosis and Ermis have 25 points apiece in third and fourth place respectively in the table, but the Ammochostos side is ahead due to a better goal difference. Omonia are in fifth place with 24 points, while APOEL are currently sixth with a point less than their arch-rivals.