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Sérgio Conceição: “There’s something special about the Portuguese Cup”

The coach did the preview of the match on Thursday (20h15) against Vitória de Guimarães, for the Round of 16 of the Cup

The Portuguese Cup is historically a competition with many surprises, but being surprised is exactly what Sérgio Conceição doesn’t want this Thursday (20h15), when FC Porto goes on the pitch at Estádio do Dragão to face Vitória of Guimarães, for the Round of 16 of the Cup. The reason for that is that the coach sees the Portuguese Cup as a “special competition”, which, like the other three, FC Porto doesn’t want to leave. Without additional pressure, as Sérgio Conceição believes there is always pressure playing for this club, but with the promise of a team in full strength to overcome a difficult test, against a very motivated opponent.

The match
“This is going to be another difficult match, against a moralized team. We are expecting difficulties, but that happens with this match and all those coming. In that regard, because this is an elimination round, it won’t be very different. Usually, there are some surprises in the Cup and we don’t want to be surprised; we want to go to Estádio do Jamor, because it’s a different day and a unique experience. But pressure is part of the game and I honestly think it's exactly the same in every match. Against Portimonense, we had one or another situation in our defence that didn’t go well, and we can’t fail there, as we usually attack and spend a lot of time in the opponent's midfield. And Vitória is also strong in those moments.”

The favouritism of FC Porto in Portugal
“If we always have the attitude we've shown, we will obviously be closer to winning titles. But that doesn’t tell us that we will win anything in the end; there is still a lot of time for decisions. But we have the conditions to win, no doubt.”

The intensity of the four competitions
“I think our team is prepared to be in all four competitions. We are an intense team that fights for the match and for every play as if it were the last. It's hard for our opponents to keep up with our pace and intensity, but I think we can keep playing like that.”

Still the video referee
“I think there has always been controversy with referees. It’s part of football. What I think is that this controversy has already passed all limits and that there is a very difficult setting right now, especially for the referees. In some countries, such as Greece, there are also controversies, but for the good of all, it was beneficial for everyone that there was different setting for the referees. The VR can be very beneficial, but, in my opinion, it’s not being used well.”

Casillas and Reyes are options
“I rarely tell who will play. I tell the players, who are the first to know. Casillas was called and might or might not play. As for Reyes, we'll see. It's all a matter of opportunity.”

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