Sérgio Conceição praised the commitment and determination of the team in the victory in the Azores
FC Porto won three precious points in the Azores. The Dragons beat Santa Clara, in Ponta Delgada, 2-0, and remain in the fight for the national title. Sérgio Conceição, just like Sérgio Oliveira, dedicated the victory to the “children at IPO and Hospital de São João”. The blue and white coach talked of the difficulty of the match, but praised the commitment and determination of the Dragons, “who showed great spirit”. On the choices he made, the coach was clear: “We obviously want to win as much as everyone who loves FC Porto”.
“It was a match with commitment, determination and that showed great spirit from my players”
“It was a difficult match, as we faced a team with individual quality, but also great quality as a team, dynamic, which means they have a good coach. We had to be at a high level. I’m not talking about putting on a show, I’m talking about fighting in every moment of the match, as physical impact was important tonight. We realised that Santa Clara, in the last five matches, played in the same 4-4-2 diamond. It was important to add speed to the wings and show up in the middle sometimes, to switch wings, as the midfielders had issues with reaching their fullbacks in support. I think we did that well, and the goal shows it, with Manafá moving up with the ball, and then, in two passes, being able to score. I think the players understood well what we had to do for the match and what Santa Clara was capable of doing. I’ll say it again: this is a difficult team, and, at home, they always make life harder for the opponent. Congratulations to the players, I think we had a good match. It wasn’t a great match, but it was a match with commitment, determination and that showed great spirit from my players.”
“A big hug to the children at IPO”
“A coach always depends on the results. I feel that it’s difficult to deal with what surrounds football nowadays, everything that revolves around football. Social networks, peoples with bad intentions, who create chaos through the press. I want to send a big hug to the children at IPO, at Hospital de São João, and to my kids. My family suffers with this. They don’t suffer with a defeat or with a victory, they suffer with everything that surrounds it, with this jungle, and people often don’t respect other people, regardless of the colours they support. Throughout the years, I have been living difficult moments and only by having great principles, the principles that my parents passed on to me, are we able to endure some things.”
“We obviously want to win as much as everyone who loves FC Porto”
“Uribe was feeling pain on his thigh, so we decided to not risk it, and remove him from warm-up. There are some players that, given the many matches we had last month, are tired. Tonight, it was important to have fullbacks that move up well, so we had Corona playing in a zone where he could be protected, to prevent his fatigue. We have to do that sort of management, we train with the players every day, and people sometimes question this or that decision, but we are the ones that watch them train, and, surely, no one wants to win more than the players and I. We obviously want to win as much as everyone who loves FC Porto.”
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