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Sérgio Conceição: “It's a very important match, but not decisive”

Coach anticipated the classic of matchday 13 of Liga NOS, against Benfica (Friday, 20h30)

Despite refusing to see it as decisive, Sérgio Conceição made it clear that the classic against Benfica, for matchday 13 of Liga NOS, is very important. In the preview of the match, the coach stated that this is one of those “matches that are worth six points” (three for the victory and three that the opponent loses), but remembered that favouritism is only theoretical. To reach the victory, the leader of the blue and whites promised a team similar to what has been usual: “aggressive, with intensity, and a lot of desire to score, not giving any to the opponent.”

The basis of the match
“We can’t know what game Benfica will play. We have to know what we are going to do and that is how we prepared this match. With that in mind, I expect a FC Porto similar to what we have been during these four months, with the exception of the last match at Vila das Aves, which was the worst we had so far: an aggressive team, with intensity, and a lot of desire to score, not giving any to the opponent. Basically, it’s the usual, regardless of who we face.”

The fight for the title
"It is premature to speak of decisive matches because nothing is definitive on matchday 13. Of course it is important, very important, because we play against a rival and we want to win. As someone else said before, these are matches that are worth six points: three for the victory and three that the opponent loses. But I don’t think it's decisive.”

Favouritism is theoretical
“In classic matches like this, it's hard to say who's the favourite. Maybe it always goes to the home team because it has the support of the audience and ours has truly been the 12th player. But every match has its own history and we have to focus on this one, forgetting a little what history is. Our club is great, we have won a lot in recent years, not only internally, but also internationally, and it’s this story that we want to honour.”

Team prepared for all scenarios of the rival
“I have to prepare the team for a reality that can be 4-4-2 or 4-3-3. We are prepared for these two different systems, knowing, or hoping to know, with 99 percent certainty, how they will play.”

Talking about football
“I want to talk about football and not of football. Everything that has to do with the communication of the clubs, wars against referees and everything else, I don’t want to talk about. I want to talk about what's going to happen on the pitch.”

Shielding the squad
“We have to worry about what is important. And for us what’s important is to work and prepare the match: analyse the last match and correct what was not so good. Obviously we are aware of what is going on around this, but it’s not decisive in our work environment.”

Still the match against Desportivo das Aves
“We have to be aware of what we did against Aves and that didn’t allow us to have the result we wanted. Tying, for us, is the same as losing, and there was a feeling that we could have done more. But this has also been analysed, thoroughly. And then there was one situation os another that determined the result.”

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