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After the victory in Paços de Ferreira (1-0), Sérgio Conceição congratulated the players for the effort, but admitted he isn’t fully pleased with the performance of the team

Nearly six years later, FC Porto finally won for the championship at Estádio Capital do Móvel. The victory over Paços de Ferreira increased the blue and white advantage in the lead of Liga NOS to six points, but Sérgio Conceição keeps his feet on the ground. The blue and white coach praised the attitude and the commitment of his players, facing a “well organized opponent”. “Our will is always to win and to put on good shows, but it’s difficult sometimes”, the coach explained.

Nothing to say in terms of commitment and attitude of the team in the match
“In terms of commitment and attitude, I can’t comply about my players. They were huge, close to the characteristics and the DNA of the team. It was a difficult match, against a good opponent. Paços is well organized, with interesting players. They are still fighting for their objectives and we knew we would have a difficult match here. Fourth consecutive match without conceding goals is important for us, this consistency as a team. Tonight, we were lacking something in the attacking process, during the match. We could have held on to the ball, sometimes. We knew Paços applies a lot of pressure, but there were times when we could have had more quality in holding and passing the ball. Either way, what matters is the important victory. After the return of the championship, in other matches, we created more opportunities, we played better and we failed to win. This is an important victory, three important points, congratulations to the players for their commitment.”

Increasing the lead doesn’t change anything
“We keep working. If you ask me if I’m extremely happy tonight, I’m not. Because I wanted to play better, I wanted to get to the goal more often, I wanted to win by more than one goal. But it’s not easy. We are facing teams with more quality every week, coach that also have that quality, well-organized teams, and there is bigger responsibility in the theoretically stronger team, fighting for the title. Sometimes, it’s not easy. Our will is always to win and to put on good shows, but it’s difficult sometimes. Our commitment and fight paid off. Our determination and ambition to get the three points. And in that sense, tomorrow we work thinking of Belenenses.”

No comments to the rival coach 
“I have nothing to say about that, especially because I didn’t know. You caught me by surprise and I have no comments.”

Tie would be fair, but this is football
“We went in well, we score the goal. I believe we had one or two situations, in the first-half, that we could have prepared better. Anyway, considering our defensive process, we had some issues with the very interesting midfield Paços has. With many changes between the midfielders, rotating and creating many difficulties in reaching our defensive midfield. But, from there, they didn’t have many opportunities in the first-half. In the second-half, it’s true, they reacted. We, with determination, continued to defend the advantage and kept looking for their goal, as it’s part of our DNA, so we could score another. Truth is that we found a team that is difficult to face, strong, well-organized, and we, in one or two opportunities, could have sentenced the match. If you’re asking me if the result is fair... The tie could have be the fairer result, to be honest. But this is football. I remember when we were champions, we came here, missed a penalty, hit the post, the play time was short. We have many opportunities to score and left without points. The last match away also shows that. With pretty much 15 opportunities, we tied. The game also depends on performances that aren’t always spectacular, but it was spectacular for me in terms of determination and ambition during the match.”

Congratulations to the players, but focus on Belenenses
“At the end of the match, I congratulated the players. During the week, I will calmly analyse the match, like always. A little displeased, as I think we could have done more, but that’s it. Now we need to think of Belenenses. Match by match. I know this is a cliché in football, but it’s true. You can’t prepare two or three matches at a time, you can only prepare one, and Belenenses is next.”

Focused on our work to prevent anxiety
“We can’t think of the other teams, because, if we do, we might end up not doing our job. And I have to admit that I believe some of our anxiety today was caused by knowing the result of other matches. And that may have been obvious during the match. Our focus has to be on our work. Because if we do our job, we only depend on ourselves and will be closer to winning the matches. I think that’s how it should be. What happens to other teams is none of our concern, we need to be focused on our work.”


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