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Photo by João Pedro Morais

Fernandes: "Leça FC have already eliminated two Liga Portugal sides"

By Sporting CP
11 Jan, 2022

The assistant coach previews the game in the Taça de Portugal

Sporting Clube de Portugal will face Leça FC this Tuesday at the Estádio Capital do Móvel, in Paços de Ferreira. The game is a quarter-final tie in the Taça de Portugal.
Carlos Fernandes, the club's assistant coach, spoke in place of the still-isolating Rúben Amorim in the pre-match press conference.

“The Taça de Portugal is a different competition that we want to win. We have prepared well for this match against Leça FC, and we have warned the players that this side have already eliminated two Liga Portugal teams from the competition. They have a squad which has many players who have competed in the league at youth level, and are on the threshold of entering professional football,” he began by saying.

“Leça FC are in first place in their division and have dominated Serie C of the Portuguese league. They are a good example of what it's like to be a professional club in an amateur division. Anyone who watches their league games can realise that they are a team who are always attacking, but in the Taça de Portugal they have shown that they have the ability to defend as well. In the league they play a 4-3-3 formation and in the cup they have changed to 5-4-1 or 5-3-2. We are prepared for all eventualities in a match that we want to win."

He stated that Amorim “will recover in time and will be in the dugout tomorrow," and indicated that both Gonçalo Inácio and Pedro Porro are also fit.

“Gonçalo Inácio is already 100 percent fit, and so is Pedro Porro, contrary to what occurred last week. He will be able to enter the starting lineup or come on during the game, because we have many options for the right, for the left and for the centre of the defence," he said.

Finally, Fernandes confirmed that, despite his having been called up to work with the first team squad earlier this week, 16-year-old forward Rodrigo Ribeiro “will not be part of the squad for the game."

“It is important to remember that Sporting CP have a long-term project in place. We took advantage of the fact that Rodrigo had not played minutes the day before to call him up to work on his finishing."

"Flávio Nazinho and Gonçalo Esteves, for example, worked on their crossing, and Daniel Bragança on shots from outside the area, making the most of the fact that they were not options for this match. We believe in Rodrigo and in our academy in general, so we have to keep in mind that at any moment an opportunity could arise -and the players have to be ready," he said.