Panathinaikos coach Alberto Malesani has called on supporters to get behind the team as they take on Werder Bremen in Athens tonight.
Following their 3-0 defeat to Udinese on Matchday 1, the Greek side cannot afford another slip-up.
“We have shown a lot of improvement and the fact we haven’t conceded a goal in our last two league matches speaks for itself,” said the Italian.
“We are in much better shape than when we played Udinese. The fans must take confidence from that and have confidence in us because we need them by our side, particularly in the Champions League. A draw will not put us out of the competition but beating Bremen is crucial for our campaign.”
Malesani knows the Greeks face a stiff test against Bremen.
“They have a lot of internationals, are from one of the best leagues in Europe, and are among the best sides in Europe,” he added.
“Even though Bremen are extremely dangerous in attack, they are also very strong in midfield and that is where our focus should be.”
Flavio Conceicao and Igor Biscan will be paired together to counter the threat posed by the German side.
Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf is well aware of Panathinaikos’s habit of adapting their formation.
“We know they continually switch their side so we’ll have to decide how to play them on the night. However, we have to take them very seriously as this match is totally different from a league game.”
Bremen are without Petri Pasanen who picked up an injury on Sunday, but Schaaf will be able to reunite Miroslav Klose and Ivan Klasnic in attack after the German international completed a suspension.