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Sérgio Conceição: “We’ve already shown the strength of this FC Porto”

Coach of the Dragons did the preview of the derby against Boavista, for matchday ten of Liga NOS (Saturday, 20h30)

Matchday ten of Liga NOS has an always exciting Boavista-FC Porto, scheduled for Saturday, at 20h30 (Sport TV1), at Estádio do Bessa. In the preview of the match, Sérgio Conceição stated he expects a difficult derby against a motivated team, but assured that the goal of the Dragons is the same as always: to win. FC Porto is the leader of the championship, with 25 points, two more than Sporting, while Boavista is seventh, with 13 points.

The preparation doesn’t change
“The way we prepare for matches, in what is to try as hard as possible to find the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent, is always the same. We care about ourselves and what we have to do to win. The emotional preparation is always done in the same way, even though this match is a derby. It’s a match equal to others, of high difficulty, similar to all others we have had so far in the Championship. For the fans, there’s the added bonus of a derby, but, for us, it’s just another game. We face all matches with the goal of getting the three points.”

Always alert
“We are always alert because each opponent has its history and its momentum. Statistics count for very little. We have to think about what we work on to win the match. Boavista is well and the dynamics they have are more and more visible. It’s clear that they had a positive path. We are going to Estádio do Bessa with the intention of assuming the responsibility to fight for the title and of winning the match. We’ve already shown the strength of this FC Porto, at home or away.”

The video referee
“It's another tool that helps with what we want, which is the truth in the sport. It is an essential element in helping the ever difficult decisions that referees have to make during matches. An advanced technology system has to improve in that sense and there can’t be flaws like the ones that happened recently. In addition, the criteria to stop the match needs to be improved. I've seen some very similar plays where the referee had the help of the video-referee, while other didn’t. All this new technology is subject to human error, that is the reality.”

“It's important to clarify something about Iker. It’s not a disciplinary problem, or else I wouldn’t even call him, and, in terms of behaviour, he also behaves well. When I talk about a technical option, I’m talking about training. The conversation I had with him, as I have with all the other players, has to do with my leadership. The player may be the one asking for the conversation, or maybe I want to talk to him, because the door to my office is always open. Iker wanted to understand my side as to why he was out of the starting team and I explained it. There is no strangeness except for those who don’t work here every day. The players know what my rules are, how I lead and how I demand players to always give 100% in training. I have to be consistent in the locker room. If you make exceptions, one player costs you the whole group. There is nothing else, this is it.”

“Our dynamic and style of play is based on a strong collective. In this collective, there are individualities. Each one has to give the team what I think they have to give. Within our dynamic, Brahimi is an important player and is doing what I ask of him. There is no secret, I simply explained to Brahimi what I wanted from him on my team.”

A sea of blue and white in Estádio do Bessa
“I expect a blue sea and not just a wave, as I have seen in the newspapers. Let this blue sea continue, because the fans are an added value for the team. This is not an appeal, because I know we will have a lot of fans at Bessa. There is great enthusiasm around the team and we have a responsibility to give a good response. The best way to thank the support the fans give us is to win the match and give them the three points, not clap at them or send them kisses at the end of the match.”

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