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Photo by Sporting CP

Amorim: "We're capable of changing the story against SC Braga"

By Sporting CP
10 Feb, 2024

The coach previews the latest meeting between the two teams

Sporting Clube de Portugal are in Liga Portugal action on Sunday against SC Braga, and coach Rúben Amorim answered questions from journalists ahead of the game.

Among the options available for the match will be striker Paulinho, and Amorim commented that “he did all the training this week and will be called up for the squad. Jeremiah St. Juste, although he is already much better, will not yet be an option to face SC Braga, but could be included in the coming games.”

SC Braga are currently fourth in the table with 40 points, and are opponents that Sporting CP have not yet beaten this season after two meetings: A 1-1 draw in Liga Portugal and a defeat in the recent Taça da Liga semifinal (0-1).

“We want to forget the last game between us, both in terms of the result and the performance. Both teams saw the last game and we will try to find other ways to win. It will be a different story and I hope there will also be a different result,” highlighted the coach.

“Our focus this week was trying to imagine what SC Braga will do. We explained to Viktor [Gyökeres] what he could improve if the situation with SC Braga's defence happens again, for example. I expect SC Braga to want to win the game, because they have to win it, and so do we. I think some of their movements will change."

“I made adjustments right after their goal last time, and I don't think that helped the team, who were doing well. Later, the fact that we conceded a goal after creating so many chances made us very nervous. These details were explained to the players and now we have to think about the game differently. We are capable of changing the story from the last two games against SC Braga."

Although a postponed game left Sporting CP with one match fewer played, and in second place, Amorim stressed that the objective remains unchanged.

“We simply want to maintain our position by winning every game. If we do that, we will be in a favourable position -even with one game less.”

Afterwards, asked about the return of Hidemasa Morita and the good performances by Pedro Gonçalves in the Japanese player's usual position, the coach spoke about the common and different characteristics of both, praising that they "make the team more complete and give us more options for a tough run and for changes during games."

“They have different characteristics, but they are two players who play well both high up and between the lines. Pedro Gonçalves scores more goals and Morita is more prepared for building up play, and knows how to time the movements."

Finally, when asked about the double header with SL Benfica in the Taça de Portugal semi-finals in an increasingly demanding calendar, the Sporting CP coach preferred to keep the focus on the present.

“We go day to day and the focus is on winning our games. We have neither the time nor the energy to think about other things,” he said.