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Photo by isabel Silva

Amorim: "We have a big responsibility to win"

By Sporting CP
24 Feb, 2024

The coach looks at the game against Rio Ave FC

Sporting Clube de Portugal play Rio Ave this Sunday at 8:30pm, on the 23rd matchday in Liga Portugal.

Previewing the match, coach Rúben Amorim praised the opposing team, before highlighting the objective of winning to remain at the top of the table.

“Mr Freire, the Rio Ave coach, made his way up the division and is someone with a lot of talent for coaching. They strengthened the squad well in January, because they had a period where he couldn't bring players in and he increased the solutions. Umaro brings options to field Ronaldo further forward and Adrien gives different characteristics and experience to the team. We know that Aderllan and Boateng are suspended and that could also have an influence, because they are two strong players from set pieces and I think dead balls will be very important in this game2, he explained in his press conference.

"Furthermore, I think that the state of the pitch, due to the weather conditions, will make life difficult for both teams. We will have to adapt to the playing surface. It will be a very difficult game and we have a big responsibility to win. Therefore, we will have to adapt to the characteristics of this game”.

"We did a lot of tactical work ahead of this one. We have a plan for if the pitch is playable and we have another plan for if it isn't and we have to play a more direct game, based on second balls and set pieces”.

Amorim added that: “We don't know which games are the most important, but the only focus we have is to win this game, maintain our place, try to move up the order and, above all, demonstrate to everyone -and, mainly, to ourselves- that, that whatever happens on the pitch and the conditions we encounter, we are capable of winning the game. Even though the results for other teams may come to mind, our focus is to win under any conditions”.

The coach revealed that Paulinho will return soon and that there are no longer any players unavailable for the game.

“The uncertainty in terms of the calendar is what I'm finding the most difficult, but I think the next games are already set in stone. I’m not going to say it’s 100%, but we’re going to play SC Farense on Sunday, the Taça de Portugal on Thursday and then Atalanta BC on the following Wednesday”.

“They will be three very difficult games, in which we have to win and in which competitions are decided. In the league, we cannot drop points. We're thinking about them one at a time. Now it's Rio Ave FC, who we know will be very difficult, and then we'll soon see how we handle things and what happens with the players. If we think too far ahead it will be very difficult”, he added.

Amorim also spoke about the draw for the UEFA Europa League Round of 16, which will pit his side against Atalanta BC.

“It was a draw in which there would always be a strong team against us. We already know Atalanta BC, Atalanta BC also know us, but we have grown in this period and so have they. I think the number of games we have at the moment will have an impact. They are a very strong team physically, so we have to manage things well to be able to match their intensity. The good thing is that the analysis department were extremely happy because they barely have time to watch the teams. As soon as Atalanta BC's name was drawn, they were the only ones who shouted loudly -because it makes the job a lot easier”.