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A BOLA - Fernando Santos deceives critics: "I think Portugal will qualify" (Selecção)

A BOLA – Fernando Santos deceives critics: “I think Portugal will qualify” (Selecção)

At the press conference reviewing Sunday’s crucial match with Serbia, the national coach immediately faced criticism for the team’s playing style.

Fernando Santos has been likened to the Brazilian national team, with World Cup qualification already secured, with 11 wins and one draw, but he has also been the target of much criticism for his style of play. “What I take out of the question is that Brazil has qualified and that is what I think will happen tomorrow with Portugal and will be present in the final stage of the World Cup. Besides, we have nothing to compare it to”, concluded the selector.

“I don’t think Serbia will play like crazy”

Portugal will enter Estadio da Luz needing to secure only one point, but Fernando Santos ensures that “Portugal will try to impose its record”, as is expected of Serbia. “I don’t think it will be a patience game, but I don’t think anyone will play crazy either. Serbia has to win, but I don’t think it will play violently, with everything progressing, and that allows Portugal to come out on the counterattack”, he said.

“What I expect from Serbia is exactly what I have expected in other matches. Since March 2015 this will be the sixth match we play with this opponent who has not played differently. Always bet on the game to win. Play in a line of three players with the expectation of a full-back with conditions Offensive, with two midfielders and three up front. They have quality players and love the ball on their toes. We already know them well and they know us well too. They are two teams that play to win, that’s their DNA,” Fernando Santos continued, Emotionally reducing any pressure: “It’s something we’re used to. It’s not the first time these guys have played the last qualifier at the Estadio da Luz. It’s always gone well and it will be fine tomorrow.”

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Without being able to rely on Pepe (suspended), the national coach did not want to give clues about the eleven that he would present, but stressed: “I have absolute confidence in the available players with the conviction that they will play very well and that we will reach our goal.”