"We will go there with the clear intention of winning"
FC Porto returns to Estádio da Luz, this Tuesday (20h45), to face Benfica for the semi-finals of the League Cup. At the press conference, Vítor Pereira foresees a difficult match and admits to rotate the team, which will not be a "justification" for less ambition. However, the white and blue coach confesses that the priority is to win the title of national League champion.
What are you expecting for this match?
The game is important and we go there to win. We will have a clever management of our objective, which includes going to the finals in this competition. I don’t believe the teams will be conditioned by what happened in the previous match. History is made in in the day of the events and FC Porto is prepared for tomorrow’s game.
How will you manage the team for this match?
The team that plays tomorrow will be a team prepared to fight for and win the match. This club always plays to win, no matter where we play at. Our last match was a difficult one and next Sunday there will be another one. For this semi-final, we will have to have a clever management.
Are you planning on playing the less used players?
We will manage the squad as we see fit. We will play with a team that gives us confidence and that allows us to win.
FC Porto has already lost a final of the League Cup against Benfica. Is it important to win this time?
What is important and fundamental is to win the League, but tomorrow we will play with the intention of going through.
Are you looking at the League Cup differently than you do the League?
There will be some changes to the team, there are limitations. But I repeat, we will go there with the clear intention to win. With no excuses, no justification, with nothing in our mind indicating a minor importance. We will go to Estádio da Luz with the objective of reaching the final.
Does winning a League Cup replace winning the title of League champion?
Comparing a League Cup to a League has no logic whatsoever. It is a competition that has to be regarded with seriousness, but our priority is the League. We want to be champions, we want the title.
It may not be a priority, but it is still a Classic match. What have you said to the players?
The message in this club is always the same and it is winning. It is a Classic and there is an underlined motivation. The team wants to go forward and will do anything to make it.
You will be facing difficulties to manage the midfield for this match. Will a player like Fernando be missed?
Fernando is a quality player that we need. He is an important player for the team and for his duties in the game. We don’t have many choices for his role, but we will find a dynamics that allows us to win.
What does the League Cup lack to be more important for Portuguese football?
With so many competitions, in a time like this, the teams are obviously tired. There is a need to set priorities. Our team has difficulties in the midfield and we have to take that into account. There are seven more games until the end the League and if we win those seven games we will be champions. That is the objective we want to achieve. I don’t mean to take importance or seriousness from the League Cup, but to us it won’t save a season or turn it positive. We already won the Supercup and we want the League. If we also win the League Cup, we will be happy, because our objective is to win more titles. But our priority is the League.