Fernando Santos addressed the incidences of the tie (0-0) against the Republic of Ireland, not feeling the national team leave reduced for the clash with Serbia, next Sunday, decisive in the discussion of qualification for Qatar 2022, and left the pitch from Dublin «convinced that Portugal will be at the World Cup».
The National selector came out «satisfied with the draw, naturally», no longer manifesting himself in the same way for the exhibition. “We weren’t able to play the game as we could,” pointed out the coach, validating the outcome of this match for the defined objectives: “In terms of classification or victory, winning here, for example, by 5-0, was the same thing… But of course I preferred to win 5-0. »
Even so, Fernando Santos guarantees that equality is a “very positive result”, as it allows putting greater pressure on Serbia, which is equal on points, with 17 points, but at a disadvantage in direct confrontation. “We know Serbia will have to play in our stadium to win the game. Therefore, you will have to play differently”, he argued.
Fernando Santos won the guarantee that Portugal went to the Republic of Ireland with the idea of winning “and not drawing”, but the goal was not reached due to the “many difficulties” encountered ahead. “We had difficulties in connecting the game, facing a very physical opponent. And possibility to start the game and control the ball. When we didn’t, we changed the ball backwards, systematically put the ball on the goalkeeper, then it was a forward kick and with tall opponents, they won as second balls», analyzed the Portuguese coach. Also in the defensive organization, the selector registered mistakes: «We give them a lot of spaces, let them think a little and play as they are used to.»
Even so, Fernando Santos relieved the players of their lack of commitment: “They tried, but they felt a lot of difficulties. However, we could have done better. »
The reduction of footballers savings, due to punishment circumstances, was also addressed, as well as the situation of Pepe, who misses the decisive challenge, having been sent off. “I didn’t spare players because of the yellow ones. It wasn’t a matter of religion or physical sense, but an emotional one. I believe in all players, I’d like to have Pepe, but I’m going to sleep well. I know we will find the right solutions. », He clarified, emphasizing: « Pepe said that they were exaggerated. I do not know. I didn’t see the bids. For example, in the absence of Danilo, when he had to get stitches, maybe it would be straight red. But I’m not going there… We have to think about Serbia. »