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Photo by Isabel Silva

Amorim: "It's important to start well"

By Sporting CP
27 Sep, 2021

The coach previews the game against Borussia Dortmund

Looking ahead to the second match of the Champions League group stage against Borussia Dortmund, Rúben Amorim spoke in a pre-match press conference on Monday afternoon.

“Youth also brings irreverence. Our debut in the competition has already passed. Dortmund have been very strong, especially at home, but our focus is on our team and what we can do and improve upon. We don't look at the difference in experience too much”, the coach began by saying, also insisting that he is not worried about who will play for the German team.

“Am I losing sleep over Haaland? I always sleep well. Football stuff doesn't give me sleepless nights, except for some bad performances and when the players don't give everything. The AFC Ajax result was such a blow that we just have to look at ourselves. I won't look at whether Haaland plays or not. We won't change based on BVB Dortmund's lineup, but of course if Haaland doesn't play then they will lose a player with a lot of influence in terms of goals."

Showing confidence in his team, Amorim addressed the contrasts between AFC Ajax and BVB Dortmund, saying that “the big difference” in these games “will be the adaptation of the Sporting CP team and the coach."

 “The big difference may lie in Sporting CP and not in the opposition: In the way we defend, how we prepare our movement and our pressure," he said, revealing what he spoke to the players about after the meeting with the Dutch champions.

"We pointed out the flaws, but we must remember the moment when it was 3-2, and for a little while that changed the course of the game; conceding first also changed the course of the game and our strategy. There are days when everything goes your way, and sometimes it's the other way around. It's important to start the game well, then stick to our strategy. We need to be focused, even when the ball is back with the goalkeeper."

“The will to win is the same. We really wanted to beat AFC Ajax and were really looking forward to the game. It was a very bad result, but there is no fear of anything. The players have to compete, play and search for a better feeling in the Champions League. Now we are more aware of the quality of the Champions League and we will strive to deserve a different result."

Sebastián Coates will be available, and Amorim emphasised that he “is very important for the team and for the coach,” but Pedro Gonçalves will once again miss out.
 “It's an old injury. We're taking our time over things and if it has to take longer, then so be it,” he explained.

Sporting CP B team centre backs João Goulart and José Marsà were present in the last training session before the match, and the coach says that they are there for experience in Europe.

“They are two other options, but it's more so that they gain experience. It's a signal to the B team. They have to go through this: Travel, preparation and training. It doesn't mean they'll come in tomorrow.”