APOEL head coach Giorgios Donis, speaking about the importance of tomorrow night's match with Maccabi: "This game is a point of no return, we can't afford to make mistakes"

Just before Maccabi Tel Aviv held a press conference and a pre-match practice, host team and reiging Cypriot champions APOEL Nicosia held a pre-match practice and a press conference of their own. Behind the microphone and in front of the cameras were APOEL head coach Giorgios Donis, who last month replaced the Portuguese Paulo Sergio, who was on the touchline for APOEL's visit to Israel in September, and midfielder Gustavo Manduca.

Donis gave some detail about the preparations his team underwent ahead of the match against Maccabi: "Before every match I start by studying our previous matches and dealing with our individual tactical approach. Of course I studied our opponents as well and I try to find the strong points of their play that we'll have to neutralise and their weak spots we can exploit to our benefit. We're under some pressure ahead of this match but if you ask me it's the kind of pressure that can work in our favour. The players know that every match could be their last so they're prepared to give it everything".

He also spoke of his team's chances of winning tomorrow and improving their prospects of advancing to the round of 32 in the Europa League: "If we don't beat Maccabi we're out, this is a point of no return for us. We understand how important this match is for us and I believe my players will play well and react well and if we can achieve the same level of performance as we did against Bordeaux, I'm certain we'll win. It's a match in which the players will have to deal with a lot of pressure, there's no room for mistakes and APOEL have demonstrated in the past that they're up to the challenge and I still believe they are".

APOEL's Brazilian midfielder Gustavo Manduca also tried to sound a positive note about his club's chances of progressing in the Europa League: "This match is also about pride. We've had a difficult year, different than those of the last three, four years, and we still haven't proven that we're a good team. Of course this match against Maccabi is a great opportunity for us players to prove what we're worth, but our goal is to get to the next stage of the competition and we'll be playing with just one thing on our minds – winning. That's our objective, not just to show that we have quality but to fight for the opportunity to get to the next round".