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Photo by José Lorvão

Amorim: "It's always good to remember the taste of victory"

By Sporting CP
27 Jan, 2023

The coach previews the Taça da Liga final against FC Porto

The fate of the Taça da Liga will be decided this Saturday at the Estádio Municipal de Leiria, as Sporting Clube de Portugal take on FC Porto in the grand finale of the cup competition.

On the eve of the match, Sporting CP coach Rúben Amorim gave a press conference to preview the game -in which he expects few surprises.

"Surprising the opposition is difficult, I think, but each game has its own story and it depends on how the teams adapt to the match. We have two coaches who have faced each other many times, the players also know each other well and there is a lot of observation involved. We are two teams with different styles and each of us will want to take the game into our favoured terrain," he told journalists.

In addition, the coach stressed that “increasing intensity and aggressiveness” are mandatory factors in a 'Clássico'.

"You cannot play against FC Porto, especially with Sérgio Conceição as coach, without being very aggressive, and that's what we're going to do tomorrow," he said.
Asked about the importance of the trophy, Amorim answered openly and considered that, depending on the season “going differently for the two teams”, a victory would possibly be more important for Sporting CP.

"We are out of the Taça de Portugal and the UEFA Champions League, and FC Porto didn't win the Taça da Liga last season - we did - but they won the Taça de Portugal and Liga Portugal, which were the last two trophies at stake. I think it's more important for us, but the will to win will be the same."

"We have a project and need trophies, which at the same time give the confidence we need to be more consistent. I am confident that we will win. It is a trophy that we want to win, it depends on us and, therefore, it's very important. There are many Sporting CP players who haven't won a trophy yet, and it's always good to not forget the taste of victory. It's addictive and we are already missing that taste, which helps teams grow."

FC Porto midfielder Marko Grujić is a confirmed absentee and Evanilson is doubtful through injury, whilst for Sporting CP Amorim assured that Paulinho "is fit."
"Obviously, he's not free from pain, but he's fit, he really wants to play and he's another option."

When asked about Pedro Porro and the winter transfer market, he preferred to keep the focus on the team.

"The main thing for me is that Porro is fit. Even more importantly, if he wasn't we'd have another player to step in for him. I'll always be calm, this game can't be decided by just one player, we have to do very well as a team and work very well. As long as we are very intense and have the courage to play our game, we have a chance."

Focusing on this Saturday's opponents, he considered that FC Porto have special players.

"[Mehdi] Taremi scores a lot of goals, Otávio moves the ball around like no one else, then there's Pepe, who, in addition to football, gives something different to FC Porto, and also [Matheus] Uribe. It is the base that they've had for many years that gives the team a lot of stability."

Finally, Amorim recognised that the team had “looked a lot” at the clash between Sporting CP and FC Porto from the start of the season, and analysed the aspects to be improved.

"We had good moments with the ball, but we weren't very aggressive when we reached the area. We were missing a striker, Marcus Edwards connected the game very well, but we lacked aggression, something that FC Porto had a lot of. They scored a goal after the break, then Porro was sent off, which ended the game. We are a different team and if we have a good day we are capable of beating FC Porto," he concluded.