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​​Sérgio Conceição: “We were better”

The coach praised a “good” match for his team and pointed out that the round is still open

Following the victory over Sporting (1-0), in the first leg of the Portuguese Cup semi-final, Sérgio Conceição admitted he was happy with what he considered to be a “successful performance” for his team, the one that did the most to win. With the advantage for the second leg, the coach admitted that this result leaves everything open for the match in Lisbon, as Estádio de Alvalade will host the two best Portuguese teams at the moment.

The team’s response
“After the last match, against SC Braga, the next day I told my assistants that Jorge Jesus was coming with a defensive line of five men. And I was not surprised at all. We worked the team and we knew that it was important that our forwards had diversity of movements and occupied spaces different from the usual ones. In the first-half, we had three or four chances, the ball on the post, and Iker [Casillas] didn’t make a single save. At the start of the second-half, Sporting created one or another situation, but, from then on, we were the best team and created more than enough situations to get a bigger victory, against a strong team. We had a lot of situations in the last third of the match and, compared to the ones Sporting had, we were great. And then, if we had defined them better, we could have left with a different result. We wanted to take charge of the match, so I think it was a very successful game. We were better, although I think the result is short, but we have to be happy.”

Sporting pleased with the result
“I think Sporting is more pleased, considering what the match was. After seeing what we can create and what happened on the pitch, with countless situations of wasted time, I think they are pleased with the result.”

The knowledge of the opponent
“In the UEFA Champions League, Sporting had an identical situation: in the match with Barcelona, they played in the same way. It was clever of Jorge Jesus to try to come here and not concede goals.”

Open round
“It's all open. Even if it was 2-0, it would be. We are talking about two of the best teams in Portugal and anything is possible. These matches are always difficult to predict. We control what we want for the match, but you never know what might happen. Not conceding is always good and then we are FC Porto. We’re going to Alvalade to win the match, as always. We will not give up on our principles.”

The duo Sérgio Oliveira-Herrera
“We are waiting for Danilo, as he is a very important player for us at all levels. I trust all the players and if you tell me that Sérgio and Herrera are in great shape, for me it's no surprise. Danilo is different, but I have solutions and the coaches work to find them. This is a victory for the players and these supporters, who were fantastic.”

The absence of Aboubakar
“In the match against Braga, he felt pain. He didn’t train for the last three days and he couldn’t even train at low intensity. But we have a lot of confidence on the other three forwards.”

Confidence in Soares
“After that episode, Soares quickly reflected on what he did and apologized. We all have unfortunate moments, the important thing is that it doesn’t happen again. But the goal Soares scored is the result of the work of many players and so we have to congratulate everyone.”

The first victory in a classic
“It has the importance you want to give it. We're halfway through 180 minutes. After what happened in the League Cup, where we missed the final unfairly, this gives us some comfort. But there are more fights and, starting tomorrow, we are already thinking of the match against Chaves and the championship, which, as you know, is our great fight.”

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