Amorim: "Our objective is simple: Get back to winning ways"
Sporting CP host Rio Ave FC this Saturday (8:30pm)
Sporting Clube de Portugal play Rio Ave FC in their second match of the Liga Portugal season. Coach Rúben Amorim previewed the match in his Friday press conference, and underlined the team's objective for their first game at the Estádio José Alvalade in 2022/2023.
“Our objective is simple: Get back to winning ways. There were things that we did well in Braga and other things that we didn't do so well, but as I said after the game, for me it was so obvious that it was very easy to work on things this week. We are very motivated. This is a marathon and now we want to get back on track, because that is the feeling we are used to,” he began by saying, before revealing that Paulinho was injured in training and that the severity of his condition is unknown.
Amorim was once again asked about the defensive solidity of the team, and stated that "We are very consistent. We have only conceded three goals three times in almost 100 games, so that is the rule and this was the exception. What we're looking for is to find out why these things happen. Generally, they are down to a lack of concentration and aggression, which can happen in certain games. As we saw last year, and two years ago, few points are dropped in the league. Therefore, we always have to be at our best and fully focused, because that is our identity. I have confidence in all the defenders and defensive consistency comes from the whole team. We know where we went wrong. The rule is that we are very strong defensively and that we are disciplined, and that is what we will go back to being."
“Flaws are always there. Players are not machines and they make mistakes during the game. What we are going to change is our paying attention to detail. The ball is never stationary, we have to pay attention even when there is a foul or a throw."
Amorim continues to be confident about the start of the season: “It can always be excellent. If we win the next game and then prepare the next game well enough to win, it can always be excellent. If not, we'll be here to face things. Any kind of start to a season no longer frightens us. We have our ideas. We got a draw and the focus is to understand why we drew. Preparing for the next game, and winning, we don't have to think about anything else. It's about taking this game by game and not thinking about whether we drew the last one or not. We will be better at things that we failed to do in Braga, and keep doing what we did well. I'm always optimistic and I think the start will do us good."
With the summer transfer market still open, the coach also talked about possible departures.
“If Matheus Nunes leaves, in the next minute, I'll be ready for that. We always find a solution for everything. The only thing that there is no solution for is death. We will always be strong.”
Insisting that Sporting CP will not deviate from the project that has been established, he stressed that he is satisfied with the squad he has.
“This year we are more of a team than at this time last year. We have different characteristics, something that we lacked last year, especially at the end. My conviction is that if the players stay one more year they will be better. It would be bad if, maintaining the same base, the team were worse. We will always improve from year to year. What we have to do is win games because I think it's clear that we are a stronger, more dominant team,” he said.
In the runup to the match against Rio Ave FC, the Sporting CP boss also spoke about the fans and some criticisms that have been levelled at the team: “Both the critics and the fans have always been very correct. I have had a lot of support and all the criticism has been correct and fair and, sometimes, they even give me credit for things that are not mine alone. It's harder for players. They have always had great support from the fans, but they have to understand that there is another side, which is very difficult. So, either you have to give up the good side to not have the bad side, or when you have the good side you have to take the bad side as well."
"If it were up to me, they would close all social networks, because, in my view, it's a very big freedom, but however much I tell them, it's not worth it. They have to manage things in the best way, realising that it is increasingly difficult to deal with these situations. I am happy to feel that I have a responsibility for the fact that everyone is much more demanding with Sporting CP now. This is football. What matters is the end, and if we win then nothing else matters."