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​​Sérgio Conceição: “Against everything and against everyone”

FC Porto coach was unhappy with the outcome of the classic for matchday 13

After the tie against Benfica, for matchday 13 of Liga NOS, Sérgio Conceição ended the match with more questions than answers as to what happened on the pitch of Estádio do Dragão. Questions mainly addressed to the refereeing team and the criterion that has been affecting his team every week. Tonight, the coach pointed out at least one clear penalty, which, without explanation, was disregarded even by the video-referee, and a legal goal, which ended up disallowed. Finally, a message to his players: “We are serious candidates to be champions. Against everything and against everyone”, the coach stated.

The questions that remain unasked
“Sometimes we ask questions to be nice. Why did no one here talk about the clear penalty, which would have given the second yellow card to Luisão? And why wasn’t the goal wrongly disallowed discussed here? You could have asked him [Benfica’s coach]. We have to see the match as a whole and the questions have to be asked. If he talked of his player that was sent off, then he also has to talk of determinant plays of the match.”

The dominance in the match and the unexplained situations
“Benfica started the match strong. We did too, but after 15/20 minutes, we were the only team on the pitch and I say again: I want the protagonists to be the players and the coaches, and, in what I can do, I will do it. But we cannot accept that plays are poorly analysed on a weekly basis by the refereeing team and the VR. You have to tell me once and for all why this happens. The goal that was disallowed I can understand, because the video referee can’t do anything after the assistant raises the flag, but the penalty is clear... and I ask why not analyse it. We have to be more transparent and disclose the communication between the referee and the video referee, otherwise we have no idea what’s going on and what happens is a real mess. In five days we lost four points. It's almost a point a day and it gets hard like that. Right now I have a broken squad and I ask why? Obviously, we could have been more efficient and this is part of what we have to do, but we were better in every moment of the match.”

Word to the squad
“I must have a strong word to my squad and tell them that I have the full certainty, that I already had two weeks ago that we are serious candidates to becoming champions. Against everything and against everyone. This team makes me very proud and if this match ended 4-1 or 5-1 it wouldn’t be a scandal at all. There is no need to hide and be afraid of words. This is starting to be too much.”

The mood in the squad
“The squad is sad, disappointed, frustrated and angry. That's the right word. Tomorrow we start working to prepare for Monaco, which is also important for us. Two days from now it's over, and we lost two points. The work for them is very demanding and we have a great desire to win the Championship. When there are situations that have nothing to do with the match, they feel this anger for not being able to win, because they gave everything and did what they were asked.”

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