Sérgio Conceição admitted that the tie (1-1) reached this Tuesday against Besiktas, for Matchday 5 of the UEFA Champions League, is fair given what happened on the pitch, which pleases the coach. In a very complete analysis to the match, the coach ended up praising his players, who have more than enough “ambition and competitive spirit” to make him happy.
First-half at great level
“I would be lying if I said that the result doesn’t please me. I think we played a consistent match, especially in the first-half, which was great for us. In terms of strategy, we prepared it in the best possible way, the players understood well what we wanted on defence, and then also exploited some of the weaknesses Besiktas has. We scored a goal, Aboubakar had an opportunity to make it 2-0, just two or three minutes before we conceded, perhaps with some merit for the opponent, perhaps with some lack of aggressiveness on the ball from us.”
Besiktas’ pressure in the second-half
“In the second-half, there was a lot of pressure on our team, and once or twice we were somewhat rash in the way we could or should have moved up, making more use of our forward. We didn’t, we lost some plays moving into the attack and Besiktas took the opportunity to put some more pressure on us. After 60 minutes, when Ricardo had that opportunity, the match was again very even. In this strong period for Besiktas, there is an excellent save from Sá and there is another shot on the bar. If we had been more effective in making it 2-0 or if Ricardo had scored the 2-1, we could have been happier, but the result is fair.”
José Sá to keep?
“I don’t want to talk of players individually, as I would also have to talk about the great performances of Sérgio Oliveira and Maxi. The bottom line is, the whole team had a good performance. It’s not easy to play in a stadium like this, against a team with five times our budget, alongside Leipzig and Monaco. If we think of the beginning of the season, with all the restrictions that we had in financial terms and having Sérgio Conceição come to FC Porto, not even the best of the optimists would think that we would only depend on us to move on to the Round of 16, and that we would be leading the Portuguese League. That should be emphasized and praised, as much of the credit goes to the players, who truly believe. They have an ambition and competitive spirit that make me happy.”
The situation of the referees in Portugal
“I think that this situation going on in Portugal is completely exaggerated. It’s not good for anyone and we should give more voice to who really matters, the players and coaches. And, in this break for the championship, I saw one or two interviews to players that were highly praised. But in that we are also somewhat guilty, as we have a tendency to close ourselves and live in our dome. Still, I want to make the promise that I will try to open this dome more so that one or another player can speak more often.”