Omonia manager Henning Berg gave a post-match interview to the club’s TV channel after the friendly game with Doxa Katokopias, providing a reaction to the game itself, as well as offering his view on the current state of his squad, Omonia’s next opponents, and the way pre-season preparations are going.
On the friendly with Doxa, Berg was calm about his team’s performance, expressing his contentment with how the game served his team’s pre-season training. “It was good match practice. I think we were not at the level we can be so now I’m happy the match practice is finished and we can start the proper season. We very much look forward to it, the Champions League qualification and also the league to start. We have a lot to play for. We had a very good season last year and we will do everything we can to have a good season this year as well.”
On what needs to be improved, Berg said that preparation for friendlies is different to that of competitive matches. “The players had heavy legs a little bit against Doxa. We have been training quite hard so it is normal. When you play these matches you don’t prepare the same way you do when you play proper matches. Next week when we play proper games it will be in a different way. We will be better prepared to compete and then to win.”
On the squad’s general match fitness, Berg said the team is almost where it needs to be. “Most of them are ready already, but you know, when you train like we do and don’t prepare specifically for this match then you have games like this.
The Omonia manager also said that he was pleased with the performance overall but cited issues in the final third for not scoring sooner. “It was a friendly match so the result is not the most important thing. But for sure our performance got a little bit better when we made the changes. I think Kousoulos did well when he came on. Kakoullis scored a nice goal. Loizou contributed with winning the penalty as well. It was good for us to finish in this way. I think in the first half we had some good moments of play in the build-up but did not find the right quality in the final third. So this is what stopped us in the first half because I thought in that period of the game we controlled very, very well.”
“For sure the goal we conceded is not what we normally concede. That does not normally happen. But it’s better if it happens in a practice match than in a real match”, Henning Berg added.
Berg was reticent on Ararat, his club’s next opponents in Champions League qualifying, but seemed quietly confident about Omonia’s chances without allowing for complacency. “They are an okay team. They won the league in Armenia. This game we play away from home. We have to be 100 per cent ready. It will not be an easy game, but we look forward to it because it’s 90 minutes and we have to play close to our best level.”
On transfers, Berg offered no updates but said that he was happy with the current state of his squad. “I think as long as the window is open every team will see if it’s possible to improve their team within the budget they have and we are the same. At the same time we have a good team, we have a good squad, we have many good players, and I think we have the main players from last year and have also added some good players to the team. So I’m comfortable with the team we have, with some good mentalities, some good characters in the squad. We are good.”
Berg also expressed satisfaction with some fans being able to attend the game against Doxa. “It’s always nice to see them and to hear them support the team. They did that again. Football without fans is not the same for sure.”