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Photo by Bernardo Vidal

Amorim: "We have to play our game this time against Atalanta BC"

By Sporting CP
01 Dec, 2023

The coach talks before the UEFA Europa League press conference

Rúben Amorim has no doubts about how Sporting CP will have to perform this Thursday to beat Atalanta BC on Matchday 5 of the Europa League group stage. Previewing the match, the coach highlighted the importance of the team “being more mature” than in the first game.
"We know how Atalanta BC play, but for us to do what we usually do, which is to press all over the field, it becomes much more difficult and very different from what we have been doing. Obviously we have to improve compared to the first game and we know that Atalanta BC have already qualified, and we have not yet, but before we think about first place in the group we have to think about qualification and this game defines that," he said.
"Therefore, we have to focus on everything we didn't do in the first game, not only without the ball, but mainly with it. We showed the players the Atalanta BC team, but we focused more on what we want to do, on the way we play and should play."
"Above all, we have to be more mature, which we were not at Alvalade. We didn't interpret the game very well, we were a little hasty and were chasing the ball. Let's say we need to be a little more 'Italian,' not be afraid to defend a little more and control the game that way, because we are very good with the ball. We won't be able to recover the ball against every opponent after the first press. Therefore, we have to understand the game well, know that we will have to defend at times, and see when we have to press. But, I will say it again, we have to play our game, which is what we didn't do last time."
" We have players with the ability to keep the ball and have longer spells of possession than the ones we had. Looking at our game and especially the first half, there were situations in which players like Pedro Gonçalves didn't make the best choices when it was 3 on 3, and he has extraordinary quality. I am sure that, if he plays tomorrow, he will have a better game.”
Asked about his team selection, Amorim remained tight-lipped.
“More important than the names of those that will play, we have to improve as a team and do better than we did in the first game against Atalanta BC."
“We always want to be strong in Europe and that is what we have been trying to do. Last year, in the most difficult games, and especially in the group stage and away games, we proved this: we were a strong team. Therefore, we want to reach the knockout stages because this is part of the growth of the team and the players. We have a European Cup as a club, but we want more. We know it's difficult to compete against teams that have bigger budgets, but we in Portugal, and I'm talking about Sporting CP in particular, try to match that in other ways. We have very talented players who can decide these games and we will be prepared -like we were last year. The idea is always to improve our performances and results."