Tsekenis eyes finals spot


However, an enigmatic debut performance by ex-Central Coast Mariners midfielder Andre Gumprecht earned Bankstown a shock 1-0 victory at Manly on Sunday afternoon to keep alive their fading chances of a top 5 finish.
Player/coach Peter Tsekenis has helped build a side who have a reputation for playing an attacking brand of football. Football NSW caught up with the ex-NSL veteran, who is keeping a positive frame of mind as the Lions enter a crucial stage of their season.
FNSW: Peter, an unexpected upset on the weekend in some respects considering Manly have been battling with Sutherland for first place this season?
PT: At the end of the day, the team I?ve got on the park is a proven team. They have been there and done that and 80% of them have been there for 2, 3 or 4 years and so from that perspective I think the result was not unexpected, in fact, I think it was a long time coming. I know what my side can and can?t do, and I know what they are capable of when they are switched on.
FNSW: Following such a crucial victory, is finals football now a realistic possibility?
PT: Definitely the aim is now to cement a finals place. I wouldn?t hear anything else to be honest. At the end of the day, we have put ourselves in this position and now we need to concentrate on each individual game and not look too much further. We can?t afford to lose focus, which was the problem at beginning of season. But with the team we?ve got, knowing what they are capable of, I think we can make the finals.
FNSW: New signing Andre Gumprecht impressed on the weekend. How important has his arrival to the side been?
PT: He?s a professional and for his age he?s moving quite freely. He brings a lot of experience and he is a class player which rubs off on the other players at training, in the change room and on match day. He?s a winner and knows what it takes, so it is good to have him out there barking instructions for me.
FNSW: What was the reaction like from your players in the dressing room after the match? Surely this victory provides a major confidence boost for them?
PT: The boys were waiting for this victory, especially after the win against Macarthur in the cup and the win against Bankstown. The boys felt it coming, realized it wasn?t just going to happen and decided to start putting the effort in every week.
Football is a game of confidence and hopefully win gives them the confidence to go on to the next game. I think they have to go back to basics, start enjoying their football again and not even worry about winning.
FNSW: Peter Tsekenis, thanks for your time and good luck for the rest of the season.
PT: Thank you very much.
Interview by Chris Paraskevas