At the press conference ahead of Sunday’s decisive game with Serbia, the national coach was immediately confronted with criticism of the national team’s style of play.
Fernando Santos was placed in comparison with the Brazilian team, already with qualification for the World Cup guaranteed, with 11 wins and only one draw, but also the target of much criticism due to the style of play. «What I take away from the question is that Brazil has qualified and that’s what I believe will happen tomorrow with Portugal and will be present at the final stage of the World Cup. Besides, we have nothing to compare », concluded the selector.
“I can’t believe Serbia is going to play crazy”
Portugal will enter the Estádio da Luz needing to secure just one point, but Fernando Santos guarantees that “Portugal will try to impose its record”, as expected from Serbia. “I don’t think it will be a game of patience, but I don’t believe anyone is going to play crazy either. Serbia has to win, but I don’t believe they will play wildly, with everything going forward, and allow Portugal to come out on counter-attacks», he said.
“What I expect from Serbia is exactly what I expected in the other games. Since March 2015 this will be the sixth game we will play with this opponent and they have never played differently. Always bet on the game to win. Play in a line of three with the chosen full-backs in offensive terms, with two midfielders and three players in front. He has quality players and he likes the ball. We already know them well and they also know us well. They are two teams that play to win, that’s their DNA”, continued Fernando Santos, devaluing any pressure in emotional terms: “It’s something we’re used to. It is not the first time for these players that they will play the last game of qualifying at Estádio da Luz. It has always gone well and tomorrow it will go well too. »
Without being able to count on Pepe (suspended), the national coach did not want to give clues about the eleven that he will present, but stressed: «I have absolute confidence in the available players with the conviction that they will match very well and that we will reach our goal. »