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Sérgio Conceição: “The group is confident in what they do”

FC Porto coach did the preview of the first leg of the match against Liverpool, for the UEFA Champions League

FC Porto turns the focus to the UEFA Champions League again, and, this Wednesday (19h45), not only is it Valentine's Day, it’s also the day Liverpool is coming to Estádio do Dragão for the first leg of the Round of 16. Sérgio Conceição acknowledged that the blue and whites will face a “good team”, but believes in the quality of the squad he leads: “The players give me confidence to think that it is possible to win this round.”

History in matches
“We will face a very strong team, with a budget above 200 million euros, but I don’t keep talking of the difference in budgets between FC Porto and other Portuguese teams. This tie will put two historic clubs face-to-face and the players give me confidence to believe it’s possible to win this round.”

Victory starts in the defence
“When we prepare for a match, we look at the opponent's strengths and weaknesses, but we also look at ourselves, knowing that every team has moments during the matches where they can be more fragile. We set the strategy for home, but never letting go of our principles and our identity. Liverpool is a good team, consistent and difficult for their opponents. We try to prepare in the best possible way, so that everyone knows what to do. The basis of the victory is the defensive consistency, as not conceding goals gets you closer to winning the match.”

The dream match
“I admit I don’t dream much, but I always hope to score goals and not concede. In a round like this, not conceding goals is also very important. That's what any coach wants, but I'm not much of a dreamer. Still, dreaming is important and we have to go after our dreams, but we have to be pragmatic about what we want and have to do.”

Coutinho moving to Barcelona
“Liverpool reacted very well because they continue to win and are still strong. They have very interesting players and they signed another one that is important in the defence. It's a team that remains very strong, even though they lost Coutinho.”

Demand, ambition and determination
“We work every day with a very high demand. Our great goal is the Championship, and the reality is that the group is very confident in what they do and there is a fantastic spirit in terms of ambition and determination.”

The 12th player
“We will have a factor in our favour, which is the fantastic audience that is always with the team. I hope Estádio do Dragão will be an added value for FC Porto tomorrow. I also take this opportunity to welcome the English fans, a crowd that is passionate about football. I hope they come happy and leave not so happy, despite the Port wine they will take with them. I think the conditions are right for tomorrow's match to be a great show of football.”

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