Amorim: "There is nothing more than Vitória SC on our minds"
The coach is firmly focused on Matchday 13
Sporting Clube de Portugal visit Vitória SC this Saturday for Matchday 13 of the Liga Portugal campaign. Before the trip to the Dom Afonso Henriques, coach Rúben Amorim held a press conference to preview the game with the side currently fifth in the division.
“There is no need to look further ahead, as what matters is beating Vitória SC. Looking at our calendar, we know that there are always very difficult games. It has been shown that every team can drop points, so there is nothing more than Vitória SC on our minds," he began by saying.
“We think about things game by game, but we have a clear objective for the end.”
Currently, Sporting CP top the table with 31 points.
“Tomorrow we will have a game where we will have to suffer, where every time Vitória SC make a transition we will have to sprint back, and we will need to be very fit. The ground is a stadium that is always difficult to play at but, for me, it is incredible because of the passion the fans have. I hope it's a good game and that there is a victory for Sporting CP," he stated.
Despite O Clássico coming up against FC Porto, the contest with Vitória SC is, at the moment, “the most important game."
“We are going to field the best team that we have, and the best way to win the next game is to first win the match we have in front of us," said Amorim, who confirmed the absences of captain Sebastián Coates (through an accumulation of yellow cards) and the injured Jeremiah St. Juste, Daniel Bragança and Iván Fresneda.
When asked about missing Coates, Amorim commented that “everyone has to step up to the plate.”
“Last year, against Arsenal, Seba didn't play, it was a moment of high pressure and we won. And as he gets older, there has to be rotation sometimes, and everyone has to push on. A club like Sporting CP cannot depend on just one player to be strong, nor have just one leader. The players are prepared for his absence, but football-wise it is difficult to ‘cover’ his dead ball threat and his ability to lead the line."
Regarding St. Juste, he called him “a special player and person."
As long as I am St. Juste's coach, he will not give up. Of course, it's difficult to look at him today in training and have the same conversations again, but he always comes back stronger. Now he has been unlucky.”
Then, addressing the average of one goal conceded per game, the coach stressed that “the whole team have to improve. Not just the goalkeepers, whom I believe in a lot."
“We analyse the goals conceded and look at things move-by-move, because just looking at the statistics sometimes fall short. Adán is working well, but he hasn't been lucky -just like we've been talking about with 'Pote'. We believe in them a lot, we are in first place and I am sure this aspect will also improve," he pointed out, before relativising the ‘fairness’ of Sporting CP’s first place in Liga Portugal.
“During the course of the season there will always be a team that are playing better; there are phases of the campaign. I think we're playing well, but we have to play better, with more speed. We have been very competent, but if we don't win tomorrow we may not be leaders, so the focus is on winning the game," said Amorim, redirecting his focus to the match in Guimarães.
"I don't look at the rivals, because I'm already missing not being worried about what happens in other games. We simply focus a lot on our own game, and if we win we will be top."