In the previous two matches against Sporting, FC Porto was on top in statistics, both in Alvalade, for the League, and in the League Cup semi-final, but the Dragons were unable to beat the Lions, with two ties. This Wednesday (20h15), at Estádio do Dragão, for the first leg of the semi-final of the Portuguese Cup, Sérgio Conceição expects that the statistical superiority will turn into a “positive result”, especially because the Cup is one of the great goals of the season.
At the conference that previewed the third classic between Dragons and Lions, the coach disregarded the momentum of the opponent - who was defeated for the first time this season in domestic competitions last Sunday -, as well as the absences of important players Sporting is facing, as is, in fact, the case with the blue and whites, who won’t be able to count on Marcano, Danilo and André André, still recovering from injury.
The momentum of the opponent
“Sporting is always Sporting. We can’t look at the moment. Whether we like it or not, in football teams, what counts are the results. They will want to get a good result, just as we will want to get a good result. I’m not expecting a fragile Sporting with what is happening. We analyse the opponent based on their dynamics in past matches, but we don’t look at the result. Sporting's last match doesn’t interfere with tomorrow's match. Every match has its story and we’re thinking of Sporting. We prepare the match based on what we can control. We want to get a positive result in this first leg.”
Statistics and superiority
“I don’t care much about statistics, because they don’t mean that the teams that have this superiority always win. Sometimes, it's the other way around. It means we’ve had good matches against Sporting, that we were competent, able to set our game. We didn’t concede goals, but, offensively, we were obviously not as effective as we could have been. I think that was the biggest problem, because I felt we were well and we deserved another result. We don’t grab on to these statistics. We hope to continue with the same superiority, but with a positive result.”
The importance of not conceding goals
“It's two matches, and we’re facing them not with the idea of not conceding, but of winning. Obviously, within the dynamics of the team, these principles of the team, the attack is associated with the defensive stage and vice versa. That is, we have to pay attention to the match itself. We don’t want to concede, we want to score, but, by not conceding, we will be closer to victory. We are a team that is always looking for results, we assume that. We are FC Porto and we want to win. We are looking forward to Sporting, a team we deeply respect, as they are an excellent team, with a great coach, but we will face the match in the same way as if it were any other team, because we want to reach the final.”
Two teams with casualties
“Sporting has players with different features from Bas Dost and Gelson, they have an excellent squad, with good solutions for all positions. Of course, these two players have been important, especially in the attack, but, in my opinion, that doesn’t weaken them. We’re also missing Marcano, Danilo and André André, they will not be fit for tomorrow. We have to find solutions as coaches.”
Soares in the call-up
“Tiquinho is FC Porto player, he made a mistake that wasn’t hidden by anyone, even as it happened in front of everyone. This mistake was admitted by him, the bad behaviour, which I don’t like and disapprove, but it was discussed and excused. Tiquinho is in the team and will be in the call-up for tomorrow. If I talk about him, I would have to talk of the other 19 who are in the call-up. I will not talk about Tiquinho anymore.”