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​​Sérgio Conceição: “congratulations to my players”

Coach believes FC Porto was a fair winner and praised the spirit of sacrifice of the team

It was a fair win for FC Porto against Leipzig (3-1), as stated by Sérgio Conceição, and it was also a victory of the strategy, as the team followed the game plan closely, studied the opponent well and knew how, where and when to strike to get three important points on matchday four of the UEFA Champions League. The blue and white coach commended the players’ sacrifice, and confirmed they “perfectly interpreted what was prepared for the match”, so congratulations are at hand and, on the hypotheses of the Dragons in qualifying for the knockout round of the competition, the promise was made: “We are going to do all we can to get it”.

Sérgio Conceição also criticized the schedule of the match against Belenenses, on Saturday (20h30), as it leaves very little time for the squad to recover: “It's unacceptable”.

Everything as planned
“It was a safe game on our part. We worked hard not to concede as we did in Germany. We significantly conditioned one of their strong features, the inside plays, and forced them to move to the wings. In the first-half, they only created that situation with the free-kick, to which José Sá made an excellent save. We also knew that the intensity of the match was going to be lost as time went by. We had this planned.”

Plan followed
“In terms of tactical balances and nuances of the match, we remained very balanced, knew what we were doing, and what space to occupy. This spirit of sacrifice my players showed needs to be praised, as they perfectly interpreted what was prepared for this. Congratulations to my players. It was a well-deserved victory on our part.”

Set pieces decisive
“It's another important moment of the match. Sometimes, when games are very balanced, these situations unblock the match. We scored two goals in Germany from set pieces, and today we did it again. It comes from us informing the players, and from their great merit, they did well.”

Marega's injury
“We had prepared to play with two men upfront. Unfortunately, he was injured, and we are obviously worried. The squad is not very large in terms of solutions, but I deeply believe in the players I have.”

The numbers for the Champions and Saturday’s match
“We don’t think of losing at this club. We know that if we do what we can and need to do, we are closer to victory. We are going to do all we can to get it. And now we’re thinking of Belenenses. Right now, as I'm talking, we won’t have 72 hours to rest (Saturday's match starts at 20h30 and the match against Leipzig ended at around 21h30). I think it hurts us. We're going to play on Saturday and we have little time to recover. I understand the way television works and the power it has over schedules, but it's unacceptable that we have to play on Saturday.”

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