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Sérgio Conceição believes that the result is a true reflection of what happened in Vizela

FC Porto is in the semi-finals of the Portuguese Cup for the fifth consecutive season. In Sérgio Conceição’s 30th match leading FC Porto in the competition, the blue and whites won again in Vizela, this time by 3-1, and kept a tradition that started in the coach’s first season at Porto. After the end of the match, the coach talked of the number of absences in both teams, explained the tactical change that he promoted for the second-half and stated that the “final victory” in the competition is the main goal.

Absences on both sides
“Cup matches are always difficult. We faced a very well-organised and hard-working team, who had some problems in the last few days, just like us. We can’t forget that. We have 15 players for the match against Belenenses SAD due to injuries. Obviously, our squad is stronger than Vizela’s and had to give a good response to win the match. I think credit should be given to Vizela for always facing the match head on, and also for being able to tie it, and we failed in hitting them in their defensive organisation. The way we attacked was very predictable and it became easier to stop us. At halftime, we corrected one or two situations, mainly in the wings, and the second goal came from there. Then we found space on the inside that allowed us to break their defensive organisation. It was a fair victory for my team, against a very competent Vizela, with kids that gave their best. We all go through moments like this and no one is to blame for that.”

Double change at halftime
“The attack became different. We had Wendell stay behind with Fábio Cardoso and Mbemba, offering more width to Pepê on the right and Luis Díaz on the left. We pulled Otávio and Fábio Vieira to the middle, where they can break the opposition more easily. That’s how we created difficulties for them.”

Heavy absences
“We are limited in the defensive line. That’s clear from the fact that we had no centre defenders or fullbacks on the bench today. We have Zaidu away, Manafá and João Mário injured, Pepe and Marcano also with physical complaints and we have to be creative, working on other situations and other players who are not as used to playing in that position. But it’s part of our job, finding those solutions. It’s a difficult moment for everyone, during a transfer window that I don’t like, but we are here to fight.”

Sérgio Oliveira
“No coach likes to lose players. It’s not good for FC Porto on the pitch, but there are other situations that the directors and our president consider more important. I have to work with the players I have at my disposal and give my best.”

Five years, five “semis”
“It’s my obligation. I represent a big club that always has to go as far as possible. We will try to be competent against Sporting to be in the final. Victories are important, no questions about it, on the path towards the final victory in all the competitions we play for. That’s what matters to us.”

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