Amorim: “We have this responsibility to be in control against CD Mafra”
A place in the Taça da Liga semifinals is at stake on Tuesday night
Sporting CP's treble campaign continues on Tuesday with the quarter finals of the Taça da Liga, in which the team take on CD Mafra - currently fourth in the Segunda Liga.
Coach Rúben Amorim, who returns from suspension to occupy his place in the dugout, talked to the media about the cup contest in his pre-match press conference.
"It will be a tough game, because they will be coming here to show what they can do, with no responsibility - which removes a lot of pressure from the players. Nowadays, all teams have players who have experience in the youth ranks of big clubs, and CD Mafra are no exception. They are a team that don’t seem like a Second Division side. I say this because they are a team that like to play the ball, that have a lot of possession and will want to play good football”, said the coach after Monday training at Alcochete.
The pressure to reach the final four will be on Os Leões, something that Amorim is taking in his stride.
"We have this responsibility to be in control and dominate the game, and that's what we are going to do, but I think it will be a good match", he mused.
"The opponents are a very well organised team, with a lot of courage, but I think that also favours our game. We are in a good moment of form, and every time there is a game I'm excited about watching the team. That's the same for the fans. We go into this one with maximum pressure, which is all on our side. We have to live with it”.
Amorim will be without the injured Jovane Cabral and Luiz Phellype, but otherwise there is a strong side available for a competition that is being given importance by Sporting CP.
"The way we look at things is game-by-game anyway, but the cups really are like that. We are clear about one thing: We want to win the Taça de Portugal, we want to win the Taça da Liga and in Liga NOS we are going game-by-game, aware that we will have ups and downs throughout the season due to how young the squad is and the intensity that will be present. We have to prepare the whole group so that they are ready for whatever comes up," stated the coach.
"More than the results, our performances have been very good and we have improved in many ways, like in how we control the game and how we have pushed teams back. We dropped points in Famalicão - which shouldn't have happened because we had several opportunities to win -, then we had a great performance against FC Paços de Ferreira, in which we were much more effective. We want to win thi one, knowing that this decides who goes through in the competition. We want to go on to the final four”.
Less frequently used players like Tiago Tomás and Bruno Tabata took their opportunity against FC Paços de Ferreira, and will be in with a chance to start on Tuesday.
"It's a good time right now. Everyone trains and works the same way, and everyone is prepared”, Amroim emphasised.
"I am very excited because the team are responding well. This sequence of games forces us to rotate the team, which is good for the group, and we have to find opportunities to see other players. I am excited to see Tabata, Tiago Tomás, Daniel Bragança, Matheus Nunes and other players who have not had so many opportunities in action. I want them to be prepared because at Sporting CP it doesn’t matter who plays, it’s always mandatory to fight for victory - and that’s what we’re going to do”.