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Unbeaten Anorthosis play down expectation

Monday 10 December 2012 13.25 CET
Anorthosis are unbeaten in 13 Cypriot league games

Striker Jan Rezek hailed a "great victory" after Anorthosis Famagusta FC beat APOEL FC at the weekend, but maintained his unbeaten side are still a long way from claiming the Cypriot title.

The Czech striker took his total to ten for Roni Levy's side this season as Anorthosis recorded a crucial 1-0 victory against APOEL in Nicosia to move four points clear of their second-placed opponents. The 30-year-old is not getting carried away, however, even though his side remain unbeaten after 13 league games. "This was a great victory but it's still early days in terms of the title race," he said. "We deserved this win. We worked very hard all over the pitch."

Along with FC Barcelona, FC Porto, SL Benfica, Olympiacos FC and Albanian champions KS Skenderbëu, Anorthosis are one of just six sides in Europe who have yet to lose a domestic league fixture this season. Indeed, they have not lost in any competition since their unexpected UEFA Europa League exit to Georgia's FC Dila Gori in August. Inevitably, given that Anorthosis have won nothing since Temiru Ketsbaia led them to the 2008 title, expectations are rising.

Ketsbaia memorably went on to lead Anorthosis into the UEFA Champions League group stage in 2008/09 – a first for a Cypriot club. APOEL have stolen their thunder somewhat since, winning two titles and twice making it to the UEFA Champions League group stage, laying down the gauntlet for all of the island's clubs by progressing as far as the quarter-finals in 2011/12.

However, any talk of Europe next season is out of the question at Anorthosis, who visit bottom club AEP Paphos FC at the weekend. "Obviously it is very positive to be four points clear at the top in the middle of the season but we know that every game will be hard so we need to be ready for each of them, starting with AEP," explained Rezek. "I wouldn't say that we are the title favourites just yet."

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