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10/1/2017

Sérgio Conceição: “We lost two points”

Coach stated FC Porto deserved to win the classic as the Dragons created the best goal opportunities


FC Porto was more dominant, and had the best and the clearest chances to score, so, according to Sérgio Conceição, the Dragons should have left with three points at the end of Sunday's classic in Alvalade, against Sporting, (0-0). The only thing missing to ensure a deserved victory was the goal, as the coach continued, pleased with the exhibition of the team, especially in the first-half. The second-half was more balanced, he admitted, as there was “some unconscious relaxation” on the players' part, as they felt they were “on top”. “Overall, I think we were better”, the coach added, as he leaves matchday eight with even more belief in winning the title.

A goal missing
“We missed the goal in the first-half, a great half from us, on all levels. We were a team with great intensity, very solid and mature, cancelling the connection and building stage of Sporting, knowing where to attack and hurt it. We only failed in the last third of the match, at the moment to score, as we could have been faster and more objective. Anyway, I think we had a fantastic first-half, we created two or three clear chances of goal, whereas Sporting only came to our goal through corner-kicks. I can’t remember Iker doing any save or any occasion where Sporting could have scored, except for a shot from Bruno Fernandes, after we lost the ball. In short, I think Rui Patrício was the best player for Sporting. We lost two points, because we played an excellent match, against a quality team, strong collectively and individually.”

Disappointed with the result
“In the second-half, without any arrogance from me, as we felt that we were on top of the match, unconsciously we lowered our intensity and Sporting managed to balance without creating danger; the match was a little more split than what we wanted it to be and had prepared. Overall, I think we were better, we had more opportunities to win the match. Today, are going home a little disappointed with the result and that is the unequivocal proof that we deserved more than the tie.”

Ricardo's absence
“Yesterday, in training, Ricardo felt muscle discomfort; he was the right fullback that was going to play, but, unfortunately, he couldn’t.”

The psychological effect of losing the first points
“Psychological effect?! Yes, a good one… We played a fantastic match at the home of one of our rivals, we were a dominating team, we had the best goal chances... How can we be disturbed by this tie? On the contrary, we are even more confident.”

A serious title contender
“I told the players that we were going to be champions at the end of the match. With this attitude, with this determination, with this quality, we will be champions. It's a message that has to do with the fact that I feel we deserved to have won the match. The objective of being a champion is in me, but it’s also in Jorge Jesus and in Rui Vitória. I don’t think it’s arrogant on my part, but rather the feeling that we played a good match at the home of a rival, who is also a good team.”

The strength of the 12th player
“I'm grateful for the presence of three thousand supporters, which is fantastic. This blue sea continues, our strength continues, we are a serious title contender as we are very competitive.”

The stoppage in the championship
“We have great desire to be and to work together. There is a fantastic atmosphere at FC Porto. Our daily life is made of great demand, hard work and a very healthy spirit. I do not like losing players to the national squads, but, on the other hand I'm glad, because it's a sign that we have quality players. We have to respect this stoppage and prepare our match for the Portuguese Cup.”

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