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Photo by José Lorvão

Amorim: "We have had good preparation for Moreirense FC"

By Sporting CP
17 Sep, 2023

The coach looks ahead to Sunday's game

Sporting Clube de Portugal host Moreirense FC on Liga Portugal Matchday 5 this weekend, at the Estádio José Alvalade on Sunday.

At the press conference ahead of the match, coach Rúben Amorim began by ensuring that "the preparation was the same" for the encounter, even though several international players had spent a long time away.

"We are adapting our training depending on the time we have between games. It was a good two weeks. Some players went away for their countries, whilst others should have stayed, like Morten [Hjulmand], who needed more time with the team. Others stayed , we had a training game, we worked on some routines. Iván [Fresneda] stayed, which is important for him to get used to the team, the ideas and life at the Academia. We made the most of the two weeks and we are ready for a good run that includes midweek games. That's what we want, as a club, and I need games for everyone to play. This year is the year in which it's been the most difficult for me to choose the starting XI," he began by telling journalists.

He described Moreirense FC as a "very well-drilled" team, even though they have only recently been promoted.

"They came up with a dynamic of victories in the Second Division and had more possession in Famalicão, for example. They are very organised when pressing. We are treating this very important game as if it were a final and we expect great difficulty. The strongest teams have had a lot of difficulties with Moreirense FC. I foresee a difficult game, but we have had good preparation."

Asked about Gonçalo Inácio's performance and two goals for the Portuguese national team, Amorim reminded the press that the central defender "is very strong on set pieces and, with crossers like those on the national team and those at Sporting CP, he is evolving in that aspect, but it's not something new."

Regarding Ousmane Diomande and Viktor Gyökeres, the coach explained that "they played games for their national teams, they come back with game time, they had time to rest and participated in two training sessions with the team, so they are at maximum strength."

Before revealing that the entire squad is fit except Jeremiah St. Juste, who is still recovering from injury, the coach spoke again about Paulinho and his remarkable start to the season.

"Players have good phases and bad phases. I'm happy for him , but the most important thing is what he has given to the team. He has scored goals, but the work he puts in is what he has always done and I have always defended him. He is a Sporting CP striker who scores goals and takes advantage of opportunities, but the commitment and way he helps the team are the same as in the past."

The pace of the calendar will increase with the start of the UEFA Europa League group stage, and Amorim highlighted the importance of rotation for the big teams.

"We will play against Moreirense FC and see how many days we have to prepare the next game, which will have different characteristics. It will be a normal choice of players, knowing that the main objective is to win, but we will have to do some rotation. The principle of great teams is that everyone has to be playing, because training it's very important and for no one to feel completely entitled to a place,"he stated.

Challenged to compare Iván Fresneda to Pedro Porro, he commented that "the biggest similarities are the fact that "they are both Spanish and with a lot of pace. The rest is quite different."

"Iván is very mature for an 18-year-old kid. Pedro Porro was less mature than him in understanding the game. Iván doesn't have Porro's one-on-one ability in attack, so he can never be the player that Porro was in the final third. Fresneda is better than Porro defending one-on-ones. Fresneda is better defensively, he has different characteristics when attacking, and I think that Iván is more physically robust to withstand several consecutive games, but that still has to be proven", he said.