Coates: "It has been an atypical week"
The club captain talks about the upcoming game against Gil Vicente FC
Just two days out from Sporting CP's opening game of the Primeira Liga season, club captain Sebastián Coates spoke about the meeting with Gil Vicente FC and the latest events in Alvalade.
The positive tests for COVID-19 by several players saw the cancellation of the Cinco Violinos Trophy game against SSC Napoli last week, and has led to a change of plans for the past few days. The group have returned to the Algarve for the second time this summer as a result.
"It has been an atypical week, but we have great players in the squad. We know that we have to win this game, and we are going to go out there with that ambition of wanting to start the season in the best way possible," said Coates.
"Having a training camp here in the Algarve has meant that we are isolated from what has happened to some of our teammates. Whether the game [against Gil Vicente FC] takes place or not isn't down to us. We have to prepare as best we can to try to win the match, which is the most important thing."
The Uruguayan added: "It isn't easy, because of everything that has been happening with some of our teammates and how we are worried for our family. However, we have to be focused."
A good start is the objective for Sporting CP in the league, with a busy schedule ahead. "It's important for everybody to start well. Then we have the Europa League coming up, and a tie that is going to be tough."
"We have a strong group. The players who have come in have been well received, and they are going to contribute a lot to us improving," continued Coates. "Those who have been here for a longer time have to explain to them what Sporting CP are all about, and try to make the group strong and united to face every game. It is going to be a long year."
For the time being, the upcoming fixtures will take place behind closed doors -and the team miss the supporters cheering them on.
"We are used to being there with the fans, hearing their chants and feeling their support. You miss them and I hope they can come back as soon as possible, obeying the measures the government feel are best for everybody."