Amorim: "This game is crucial for knockout stage qualification"
The coach previews the game against Beşiktaş JK
Sporting Clube de Portugal will face Beşiktaş JK this Tuesday at Vodafone Park, in the third round match for Group C in the UEFA Champions League.
In his pre-match press conference, coach Rúben Amorim admitted that the game is “crucial” in terms of qualifying for knockout stages of the competition.
“Few teams with three defeats to their name from the first three games of this competition made it to the next stage, but that is our main objective. Entry into the Europa League isn't in our plans. The main objective is to go through to the next stage and this game is crucial for the points, mentality and comfort of the team. We know that and we have to face the game with enthusiasm, but I think that the team face these moments with a lot of courage", he said, promising that fans will see a better performance than in the previous two games.
“There are two factors that will have a great influence: The desire to win and the need to have a cool head and be better in defence than we were against AFC Ajax -and better in attack than we were against Borussia Dortmund. Inexperience sometimes has its good side, as players will get stuck into the game. That's what I want them to do. We have to put together the best things from the previous two games. That's what I hope”, he said, before addressing Pedro Porro's fitness.
“Pedro Porro is going to undergo tests today. Yesterday he did reduced training, and if he's in good condition on the pitch today, then he'll be playing tomorrow”, he guaranteed, before also assuring that Pedro Gonçalves will be included in the squad for the game.
“He is clearly in a position to be used from the start, and he is a very robust player. On the bench against CF “Os Belenenses”, he immediately made clear that he could play longer. He goes through a department that understands a lot more about these things. I don't know if he's going to play the whole game or start, but he's prepared for that".
The coach acknowledged that he hopes to “have a lot of ball” against Beşiktaş JK, but reminded the media that “nobody knows what will happen during the game".
“We normally have plenty of possession in the Portuguese league, and we tried to do that against AFC Ajax and Borussia Dortmund, which they often don't let you do because they spend a lot of time in possession. Beşiktaş JK were champions in Turkey and dominated many games. It will be a fight between two teams that want the ball and to be dominant. We want to be the team with the most possession and the most chances. We are a team that concedes few goals and we want to continue like that, improving in the offensive aspect as well”.
“Beşiktaş JK have passionate people around the club, from fans and players to the culture of football itself. As we did with Borussia Dortmund, but not with AFC Ajax, we want to have the ball, as well as score and dominate from the first minute. Nevertheless, we know that the opposition are a great team with excellent players, and that the fans will be supporting them. They ride the wave created by the fans, but we're used to that because we are Sporting CP and our fans do the same to our opponents”, concluded the coach.