Amorim: "Sporting CP are always a candidate for trophies"
The coach sets his sights on Gil Vicente FC
Upon the return from the international break, Sporting Clube de Portugal host Gil Vicente FC at the Estádio José Alvalade this Friday in Liga Portugal action. On the eve of the match, coach Rúben Amorim held a press conference at the Academia Cristiano Ronaldo to preview the challenge ahead.
"Some players went away with their national teams, when we really needed them to be here to integrate them more into the dynamics of the team, as well as several young players who were also called up for youth competition. We didn't really have the opportunity to take advantage of this good period to work with them, since they are clearly the future of our club. However, we worked with other players, like [José] Marsà and Arthur, and we used every minute to improve the players we have," he told the media.
"Morita played for Japan but then he rested, which was good for us, and Ugarte was not given many minutes. There were also good things that were done, and we are prepared for the game this Friday."
A defeat to Boavista last time out ended a run of four wins in a row, without conceding a goal – two games in Liga Portugal and two in the UEFA Champions League.
"We managed to improve in the last games, but the loss against Boavista set everything back a little bit to the beginning of the season. We big clubs really feel the international break, which you take more calmly with a victory. We are not being consistent in our results, but in terms of our performances we have maintained a good level."
Opponents Gil Vicente FC are currently tenth in the table and have lost only one of their last five games, making Amorim wary of the task ahead. Sporting CP have several confirmed absences due to injury, namely Sebastián Coates, Pedro Porro, Luís Neto, Jovane Cabral and Daniel Bragança, whilst Jeremiah St. Juste "will be in the squad but will not play from the start."
"Marsà could be a starter, and we have to remember that he had an excellent preseason," commented the coach. "That's why the players from the B team are here: He's here to earn a spot in the first team and he's ready for it."
"In terms of strikers, all of our front line stayed here during the international break, which made it possible to take a better look at them and their movements.
As for his side's position in the table, Amorim said that "we can't be nervous about it, but we have to be aware of standings. If for two years we were so demanding, we have to be aware of the situation we are in: We have to face it with normality, but with the urgency of winning games and scoring points."
"Sporting CP are always a candidate for trophies, but now it's not worth thinking about the maths. This is not over yet, as there are many points and trophies to play for. Our aim is to win all the games until the end of the season."