Amorim: "I want to win a trophy as a coach of Sporting CP, as do the players"
Sporting CP coach previews Taça da Liga 'Clássico'
A 'Clássico' between Sporting CP and FC Porto takes place this Tuesday in the semifinals of the Taça da Liga, kicking off at 7:45pm local time at the Estádio Municipal de Leiria. Coach Rúben Amorim addressed the media before the Final Four of the competition got underway, stating that his team are ready for the challenge ahead.
"The last two games saw two results that we were not used to. The team are very committed and focused in training. I haven’t seen the same joy from them, which is a good sign, but the team continue to believe in the process and are confident. They are ready for the next game, which is important because it is the semi-final of the Taça da Liga," he told journalists at the Auditório Artur Agostinho.
"In terms of experience and maturity, at this moment in time we are clearly behind FC Porto, but youth can compensate in other aspects," he stated. "We have a confident team despite the last two results, and we are in first place in the league, so the players are ready for this game."
Asked about positive COVID-19 cases in the FC Porto team, Amorim insisted that the opposition will be as strong as ever.
"We had cases just last week. The clubs are prepared for this. FC Porto will always field a great team, with a lot of experience and international players. Only those who don’t know the coach, the players and the club would think that it will be easier because one player or the other isn't available", he said.
"They will be a great side. The players already know each other. Sérgio Oliveira has a lot of influence in the game, but reducing FC Porto to Sérgio Olvieira would be a mistake. I expect a strong and aggressive team, strong in space and between the lines, with Corona creating problems in that regard. Uribe will be pushing to get into the area and the wingers will be attacking. Pepe must have played more Champions League finals than Inácio has games as a starter in the Primeira Liga. We will have to suffer, play hard and try to win the game. It is very important to face a game with FC Porto with the maximum aggressiveness."
Amorim continued by saying that "We want to bring the Taça da Liga back to Alvalade. The group needs these games to understand that the DNA of Sporting CP is about winning trophies. I want to win a trophy as a coach of Sporting CP, as do the players."
Before the press conference, João Pedro Araújo, director of the Sporting CP medical department, explained to journalists that Andraž Šporar and Nuno Mendes’ positive Covid-19 tests had in fact been false positives.
"Both tested positive for COVID-19 last Wednesday, January 13th, through a PCR test. Sporting CP have always complied -and will always strictly comply- with the protocol plans, having implemented measures such as daily internal screening," he said.
"Two more PCR tests were performed in two other different laboratories: One on Friday 15th, and the other on Saturday 16th. Both results were negative, so it can be concluded that the results that preceded the match against Rio Ave FC were false positives."
"The Sporting CP medical department wish to make it very clear that we recognise the immense value of these tests in combating the pandemic. The probability that the test is positive and the person is not infected is less than 1%. It is quite rare."
"It is with regret that we registered this error because, as everyone knows, it was a mistake that meant the coaching staff missed two members of the squad for the match against Rio Ave FC. Finally, I thank the health authorities and the laboratories for their collaboration and quick response, and hope that the players will be available for tomorrow's game," stated the doctor.