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Ninis pumped up for 'decisive match'

Sotiris Ninis has vowed to "attack from the very first minute" when Panathinaikos FC meet FC København in a Group D fixture already billed as crucial to the Greek side's European ambitions.

Panathinaikos striker Sotiris Ninis
Panathinaikos striker Sotiris Ninis ©Getty Images

Sotiris Ninis has vowed to "attack from the very first minute" when Panathinaikos FC meet FC København in a Group D fixture billed as crucial to the Greek side's UEFA Champions League ambitions.

The outlook briefly appeared rosy for Nikos Nioplias's side when Sidney Govou put them ahead at FC Barcelona on Matchday 1. Five unanswered goals from the hosts put a very different complexion on things and as they prepare to welcome Danish titleholders København to Athens, Panathinaikos have only one thing in mind. "This is probably the most decisive match in our Champions League campaign," said Ninis. "We have to bounce back and win."

Victory would be a welcome shot in the arm for a side who have made a shaky start to their domestic campaign too, claiming only their second win in four Super League games against Panionios GSS on Saturday. Ninis was on target, though the goal was overshadowed by a reckless tackle in added time that earned the Greece striker a red card – and widespread criticism.

Some question the 20-year-old's maturity, though not his hunger and drive. On Tuesday he also revealed his selflessness, not always a common trait among strikers. "Everyone wants to score in a Champions League match but quite honestly it wouldn't bother me if I do not score for the next five years," he said. "Just as long as we get the results we want." Starting with victory over København.