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Sérgio Conceição: “We will not let go of anything”

FC Porto’s coach praised the team's path until the Round of 16 of the Champions League

FC Porto is in the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League for the 13th time in history, and, as far as the season goes, it was the only Portuguese team to secure a place among the 16 best teams in Europe. After the victory over Monaco (5-2), in the sixth and final matchday of group G, Sérgio Conceição spared no words of praise to the work and the blue and white path in the most important club competition in the world.

Character, personality and quality
“We had the unfortunate injury of Otávio during the warm-up, and that ended up shaking our early game, even though we scored. We had periods of some hastiness in the first phase of creation and this could have caused us problems. With the red cards there was more space to play. It should be praised that this team, even winning, never stopped looking for more goals. We knew that Monaco’s procedures were not the best and we tried to take advantage of that, keeping in mind their individual potential. We did our job and we can only congratulate the players on our path. With home grown players, we were a team of character, with personality and quality. We managed to be the only Portuguese team in the last 16 of the Champions League. The team and the club are to be congratulated, as it is a well-deserved qualification.”

A team always looking for the goal
“I'm happy with the team's willingness and objectivity, but sometimes you have to control the game with the ball. At one time or another, we lacked patience, but this team has a great ambition to reach the opposite goal. There are always things to improve and perfect, but, overall, I can only be pleased. Few believed in this team and in the path that has made so far, especially in the Championship and the Champions League.”

Managing effort
“It was important to manage the effort, especially that of Marega, due to the physical problem he had recently. He is a very offensive player and Corona, although a forward as well, has different characteristics. Aboubakar also left because we have another important match in the weekend that we really want to win.”

A squad dreaming
“Dream is part of our squad and we have our goals well defined. Going to the knockout stage of the Champions League was one of them and it's fulfilled now. Whatever comes, we will not let go of anything and we will continue to dream. But now we are focused on the Championship and we want to win in Setúbal. We have a very great goal, which is to become champions.”

The injury of Otávio and Felipe being sent-off
“Otávio had a muscle problem during warm-up and our medical department will now analyse the extent of the injury. As for Felipe, it is a moment that can happen, but one that should not happen. I'm sad about both situations, but this is football.”

Aboubakar and Marega
“Aboubakar is a player that I appreciate and, as a forward, has characteristics that appeal to me, as do Marega and Soares. I could even go get a forward for who knows how many millions, but I wanted to keep Aboubakar. As for Marega, it was no surprise to me. When I was in Nantes, I wanted to take Marega there, so, when I got to FC Porto, I said at the time that I wanted him to come back.”

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