PAOK manager Razvan Lucescu is happy he did not see Nicky Devlin blowing a kiss at him when Aberdeen went 2-0 up at Pittodrie – as he doesn’t know how he would have reacted.
Lucescu revealed his coaches only informed him about Devlin’s goal celebration after the Europa Conference League Group G clash with the Dons had finished.
The PAOK boss had the last laugh as the Greek Super League team went on to score three late goals and win 3-2 in the Granite City.
Lucescu will face Devlin and the Dons again on Thursday night in Thessaloniki.
During PAOK’s pre-match press conference at the Toumba Stadium, Lucescu discussed his side’s 4-2 away win at Olympiacos on Sunday, where they were 4-0 up with only four minutes remaining.
Lucescu used Devlin’s celebration at Aberdeen’s second goal to illustrate the importance of never taking anything for granted.
“In the game Aberdeen scored their second goal and in that moment their number two, Mr. Devlin, came in front of me making like this…,” said Lucescu, blowing a kiss.
“It finished 3-2 for us.
“I didn’t see it in the game but the people around me, my coaches, told me the story.
“When I told our group what happened, they were a little bit surprised.
“I’m happy I didn’t see it in the moment, because I don’t know how I would have reacted.”
Aberdeen ‘not an offensive team’ – Lucescu
In the aftermath of the 3-2 defeat Devlin said he was angered some PAOK players celebrated their dramatic late win in his face at full-time.
However, the full-back was also confident there would be no bad blood between the teams at the 28,000-capacity Toumba Stadium.
An 800-strong travelling Red Army will cheer on the Dons in a must-win match in Thessaloniki.
Aberdeen have secured only one point from their opening three Group G fixtures.
In contrast, PAOK have a maximum nine points and top the table.
PAOK beat Hearts 4-0 in Thessaloniki earlier this season in the Europa Conference League play-offs.
The PAOK manager refused to make comparisons between Aberdeen and Hearts.
Lucescu said Aberdeen are “not an offensive team” – but praised Barry Robson’s side for their defensive organisation.
He said: “We have a game that might give us qualification for the next round so we have to be very focused.
“I don’t like to make comparisons, because there are two different moments with teams (Hearts and Aberdeen) and their qualities.
“We don’t care what has gone before.
“Now in front of us is an Aberdeen team with a strong mentality.
“They are not an offensive team, they are very organised in defence.
“They try to take advantage from their transitions and they are very good at that.
“Aberdeen are a team that must be treated with the maximum of respect.
“I don’t know how Aberdeen treat the game, but normally Scottish teams have the mentality to fight and fight.”
‘Tough, tough’ Toumba Stadium key in ‘do-or-die’ clash
Meanwhile, PAOK left-back Baba Rahman has warned Aberdeen face a “tough, tough” experience at the Toumba Stadium.
PAOK’s stadium is renowned for its intimidating atmosphere, and Ghanaian international Rahman insists that will be a key factor in a “do-or-die” game.
He said: “Playing at Toumba is not easy, and Aberdeen can expect a tough, tough game
“It will be a different game and we will have the fans behind us at Toumba.
“Our team is high on motivation.
“The game will do or die for Aberdeen.
“It will also be do or die for us as we need qualification.”
Former Chelsea defender Rahman was adamant there was no luck involved in PAOK coming back from 2-0 down with 17 minutes remaining to win 3-2 at Pittodrie.
When asked if they had been “lucky” to win at Pittodrie, he said: “I woudn’t say luck.
“After we went 2-0 down, we put in a good shift.
“It was hard luck for them to concede a penalty in the last minute.
“Sometimes luck plays a part, but it was down to hard work.”