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Sérgio Conceição believes the victory over Rio Ave (1-0), in Vila do Conde, for matchday 7 of Liga NOS was fair

This Sunday, FC Porto travelled to Vila do Conde and beat Rio Ave (1-0), reaching the sixth consecutive victory in the championship. After the match, Sérgio Conceição was pleased with the performance of the team, talked of the quality of the championship, and reminded that, on June 20, 2000, playing for the national squad, he achieved a hat-trick, at Kuip Stadium, in Rotterdam.

Fair winner
“I feel that playing here is always complicated. We started well, Rio Ave didn’t even pose danger and we had opportunities to go for the break with more goals scored. Rio Ave then changed strategy, sent in two strikers, supported by a line of three players, and was able to have more ball possession, but I believe they didn’t create opportunities, at least I can’t remember Marchesín saving it. So, knowing that they have this attacking style, we stayed on our toes and kept an ear open. Tonight, we again showed consistency, as it was the fifth match in seven that where we didn’t concede any goals. It may have not been the best last 25 minutes, but still the best opportunities in the second-half belong to us. Rio Ave has a lot of quality, they made our life hard, but, either way, we deserved to win.”

Nakajima
“That option has to do with what I saw in Rio Ave. I wanted someone in the middle that could exploit the back of the two midfields and speed up, which he has been doing. And, after what he showed on Thursday and considering what I wanted for the match, he was a useful player.”

Break in the championship with Famalicão in the lead
“What matters is that FC Porto is in the lead, as we’re used to. Of course we need to congratulate Famalicão, as they are having a great start of the championship, but this is a marathon, you don’t win in the first matches, you win with the consistency we showed tonight. These are the important victories to win championships.”

Championship has quality
“More and more, our championship has quality teams and players. I think it will be difficult to win the championship with 88 points, like we did two years ago. This is a competition of consistency, a marathon, and we hope to be in the lead in May.”

June 20, 2000
“It’s a goo memory, but I don’t think the Sérgio Conceição of that day was missed here. Tonight I saw ambitious people, determined in winning the three points, even in the last minutes. Tonight, the 11 plus 3 substitutes were all Conceição. As for our next match, it’s a stadium that brings good memories, but this is something completely different. I hope to be happy as a coach in that stadium, like I was as a player, in that match in 2000.”

Message to the fans
“I remember that, last year and two years ago, the stands were full of FC Porto fans. I want to thank all those that came to Vila do Conde, and a special word for those who couldn’t watch the match. We say it every week, but we have to praise the support of the fans from the first to the last minute, as they really are our 12th player.”

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