Greece football manager Augusto (Gus) Poyet said the country’s Euro 2004 campaign is the inspiration he aims to drawn on to inspire the national team to take part in international finals for the first time in eight years.
Under Poyet, who took charge of the team in February, Greece has won all four of its UEFA Nations League fixtures, a promising sign for the man who was hired to take Greece to Euro 2024.
Quoting comments Poyet made to football magazine Four Four Two, online sports website ChronicleLive said the former Chelsea player who went on to manage English clubs Sunderland and Brighton said he had left England to “go abroad and see something different.
“I achieved the most at Brighton. We set up as style of play maybe for life in Brighton. The most recognition was at Sunderland because the Premier League is top. The two jobs that gave me the most, they were the two in England.”
He said his appointment to the Greek national side had been completely unexpected.
“To be honest, I came to Greece for a different reason – to watch a match that was cancelled because of coronavirus, so I made a few meetings with football people I know. Somebody said: ‘Do you know the manager of the (Greek) national team is leaving?’
“That took me to another meeting, then a Zoom meeting and I suppose it was timing. More or less, I know Greek football and that helped a lot. I know most of the players,” said Poyet who had managed AEK between 2015 and 2016 and the experience has helped him in his current role.
“It’s very important. Massive for many reasons. The one is to learn the mentality. It is was a brand-new culture, it would be a little more difficult, it would take a few more months. I am having this chat because the AEK Athens job worked out well.
He said the role of national manager was completely different to managing a club side.
“You are at one pace for a month and a half, then you get together and go from 60 miles per hour to 200mph.
“So far, I’ve enjoyed it. It’s always nice when you do something different. No monotony. So far, I’m pleased but, like anything in football, it will depend on results.”
“When you are playing games, everybody is looking at you. But during the off months, everyone forgets the national teams, it’s about the clubs.”