A tie against Besiktas, in Turkey, in Tuesday’s match (17h00, mainland Portugal time), leaves FC Porto relying only on themselves to qualify to the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League. Ricardo Pereira assures, however, that the Dragons are going to play to win, as they don’t want to wait for the last matchday of Group G, against Monaco, to secure a spot in the next round of the competition.
The fullback also believes that the team needs to play differently, with more aggressiveness and more compact, than in the first matchday, at Estádio do Dragão. “If we don’t play like this, we will have difficulties”, the number 21 of the blue and whites warned.
Recipe for victory
“I think we have to be a different team than the one that faced Besiktas in the first matchday, aggressive as we are used to being, and more compact. We know that in these competitions, against experienced opponents such as Besiktas, if we don’t play like this, we will have difficulties.”
The importance of the match
“We want to reverse the scenario of the first match. We know that we are in a crucial moment in the group stage and that this match is very important, and we want to take the three points home. We will not play for a tie, as we know that, if we play thinking of that, at some point in the match, it can backfire. We have to always give everything we have and always play to win, because, although a tie will have us depending on ourselves to qualify, we don’t want to wait for the last matchday to achieve this goal.”
“I think the temperature and the different time zone are just details, this is not what’s going to decide the match; what will be decisive is what we do on the pitch, our match principles, and the message the coach passed us. We’ve studied Besiktas well to get a good result tomorrow.”
The effects of the match for the Cup
“Physically, we are feeling well. We played on Friday, but we had time to recover. It was a very intense match – as it will certainly be tomorrow – as we were losing until near the end. Still, we managed to turn the score around, because we believed until the end and remained united. I think the group's union and belief were proved again, and this will give us more motivation to continue this good moment.”