Pedro Martins understands Wolves’ point of view over Europa League tie

The Olympiacos manager will see his side play the Premier League outfit behind closed doors on Thursday.

By Press Association Published: 11 March 2020 - 3.56pm

Olympiacos manager Pedro Martins refused to criticise Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo for wanting their Europa League tie postponed but insisted it is safe to play.

UEFA rejected Wolves’ request to call Thursday’s last 16 game off after the hosts’ owner Evangelos Marinakis was diagnosed with coronavirus.

The teams will still play behind closed doors at the Karaiskakis Stadium after UEFA banned fans for health reasons as the virus spreads.

But Martins has moved to ease any further fears Wolves have over playing in Athens.

“Everyone can react the way he feels, we have to respect the standpoint of Wolves,” he said.

“We know the responsibility lies with the authorities and those who tell us what to do.

“We have full trust in them and if they tell us it’s safe to play behind closed doors we will do so.

“We understand Wolves, the same way we have trust in the authorities.

“There have been thousands of cases in Europe but this club has taken all measures necessary and we have all been tested and the results have been negative.

“There should be no doubt in the minds of anyone who is going to come.

“Yesterday after we were informed (of Marinakis’ diagnosis) the club did everything which was supposed to happen and we followed all the processes.

“Not a single member of the squad has manifested any kind of symptoms and the previews weeks have been quite normal. We know this is a very robust club.”

Greek Super League leaders Olympiacos – unbeaten in the top flight this season – knocked out Arsenal in the last round have also played Tottenham in the Champions League this season.

Martins, though, feels Wolves will present a different challenge on Thursday.

“There’s no reason to rank these teams, they are different teams. Wolves don’t have a classic English style of football but are a top team with some amazing players,” he said.

“They rely on teamwork and they have quality as a club.”