TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – In his second competitive match since replacing Hector Vargas as Olimpia’s head coach, Carlos Restrepo will face one of his former teams.
On Thursday night, the Lions will host Alajuelense in the first leg of their Round of 16 series in the inaugural Scotiabank CONCACAF League.
“No, that happened a long time ago” Restrepo said, when asked if he thinks coaching the Costa Rica power in 2007 gives him any confidence heading into the international encounter. “We know that it is an institution that always arms itself to win championships in Costa Rica, which has a coach who started last season and is logically looking for an adjustment.
“New players have arrived in order to try to reinforce (the squad). We have seen it in friendly matches and in the first match against Grecia, where I found a very structured team, very dutiful in the system. For us, it's going to be a very hard game, to look at the payroll we have and the answer will come as the games pass.”
While Alajuelense defeated Grecia, 3-0, in the 2017 Costa Rican Invierno opener for each on Sunday, Olimpia kicked off the Honduran Apertura with a 1-0 win over newly-promoted UPNFM.
Restrepo is looking for a better performance as the side continues to gain a better understanding of his philosophy.
"We have to improve in order to look for a good result on [Thursday],” commented the 56-year-old Colombian. “The group is aware of this. An effort was made against a difficult opponent that complicated things for us in the first game. We have to be more collective, especially with the ball, trying to have more control of the game.”
Olimpia was the only side to qualify each of the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League’s nine editions, advancing as far as the quarterfinals twice (2010/11, 2014/15). What can be expected of it at the Estadio Tiburcio Carias Andino?
“I want an organized Olimpia without letting go of the concept of the first game, which felt good in defense,” Restrepo finished. “Because here the away goal has weight.
“We are using a 4-4-2 and we are going to give continuity to what was the first game in local league. Some movements that we have we’ll want to change due to the rival’s style and maybe there some changes from the first line-up could be made."