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Photo by Sporting CP

Amorim: "We have to get back to the mentality of knowing that we can't drop points"

By Sporting CP
29 Mar, 2024

The coach looks forward to the Friday fixture against CF Estrela da Amadora

After the international break, Sporting Clube de Portugal are back in action on Friday, to face Estrela da Amadora on Liga Portugal Matchday 27.

Coach Rúben Amorim held a press conference on Thursday and assured journalists that the break “enabled us to recover some players, to rest up, whilst others went away with their national teams.”

“[Gonçalo] Inácio played 90 minutes in the last game and, due to the recovery period and the injury to his hamstring he had recently, we may have to take precautions there. The rest of the squad are ready for the game. We had a mishap with Sebastián Coates, but he has recovered, Marcus Edwards has already done more or less two days of training, and at the last minute we have Francisco Trincão back from injury. At this moment we have to take everyone, because we know it will be a difficult game."

He also confirmed that Pedro Gonçalves will miss out due to injury, saying that "We are going to do our best so that he can be with us next week."

Regarding coach Sérgio Vieira's CF Estrela da Amadora, currently 13th in the table with 26 points, Amorim highlighted that they are a team with “very fast players up front” and recalled the “problems” experienced in the first meeting this season, in Alvalade.

“I think we will improve. We have to be cautious and as strong as we were, for example, against Moreirense FC with stopping the transitions. We need to be very focused. On set pieces there is a specific player from CF Estrela da Amadora who, when he is playing, makes this aspect even more important."

“We have to get back to the mentality of knowing that we can't drop points, we have to win, we know that the season is coming to an end. We are ready for the game," he stressed.

With a game in hand, Sporting CP are the outright leaders with 65 points, one ahead of SL Benfica. They play their local rivals in consecutive derbies, beginning in the Taca de Portugal semifinals on Tuesday.

Before next weekend's league derby, the squad have a total of six players one yellow card away from serving a suspension: Morten Hjulmand, Ousmane Diomande, Nuno Santos, Marcus Edwards, Luís Neto and Ricardo Esgaio. Despite this, Amorim highlighted that the “only squad management that will be done is tactical and physical, as always."

“It's not because there are two derbies coming up, but because there are many players who could be left out of the next game and we don't know which will be the most important game of the season. We have to play every game at 100%," he highlighted, before reinforcing that transfer rumours are not affecting his players.

“Right now, everything is focused on the league. We really want to win trophies and we know the importance of these upcoming games. Anything can happen until the end of the season. We experienced this with our last title, and when we least expected it we dropped six points in four games. I think this game with CF Estrela da Amadora is even more important. It’s about preparing for a different kind of game."

“It was harder to get the message across last year when we were in fourth place. In those stages of the season it is more difficult to make the players believe in the idea and the project, and they always have done. That's not the case this time. We are nine games away from being champions at a club that doesn't win that many titles in a row, so the message is always there."