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Wednesday, 27 June 2012 12:17

Paulo Bento: “The game will have moments in which we will dominate”

Coach confident of extending Portugal’s run at Euro 2012

Paulo BentoHe may be the youngest national team coach at Euro 2012, but Paulo Bento’s handling of his team and the media at this tournament has exuded the confidence of a veteran. The Portugal manager gave another demonstration of controlled optimism and intelligent analysis in the pre-match press conference ahead of the semi-final against Spain.
 
“The game will have moments in which we will dominate; I have no doubt about that. We want the ball, but we know that on the other side is a team that has bettered the opposition in this aspect,” began Bento. 

“We must show ambition to get possession of the ball, courage to attack them and patience when we don’t have it, without becoming unstable. We know in what areas we want to press the opponents, and who we will use to do that job. We don’t want to spend the whole time defending. We want to dispute the game with the European and World Champions.”
 

No change in approach

Bearing out this philosophy, Bento insisted he would not be modifying Portugal’s shape or tactical approach to the game.
 
“We have our identity. It makes no sense playing a semi-final and not drawing inspiration from our own game. At times we are going to have to suffer, and wait for the best time to apply pressure again. This is all down to managing each moment of the game.
 
“We have to play with an enormous heart, like we have done, but in a balanced way in emotional terms. The game will last 90 minutes, or 95 minutes, or even longer, but we want to try and settle it in 90 minutes.”
 
After confirming that Hugo Almeida will come in for Hélder Postiga at centre-forward, Bento was asked if he expected Spain to continue to line up without a recognised striker.
 
“Will Torres or Fabregas play? Will David Silva or Pedro play? I don’t know, we’ll have to wait and see. This may ask different questions of us, but we will be highly organised whatever.”
 
If Bento’s assurance off the pitch can be matched by Portugal’s players on it, the Selecção may well be celebrating come later tonight.
 
by Tom Kundert
 
 
Comments (8)
Time to go for it!
8 Wednesday, 27 June 2012 17:51
Nobody has managed to defeat Spain in a knockout match conceding possession and defending for 90-plus minutes. They think it increases their chances when it really just allows a much more efficient team more chances, which is obviously a losing game to play. It's time for Portugal to come out with a singular focus to challenge Spain and force it to make passes rather than letting it do so.

As Duke told Rocky during training for the Drago fight: "You're gonna have to go through hell, worse than any nightmare you've ever dreamed. But when it's over, I know you'll be the one standing. You know what you have to do. Do it... Do it."
Thank you Seleccao
7 Wednesday, 27 June 2012 17:36
Whatever happens tonight, we have seen the Portuguese heart through our Seleccao. You have fought hard, shown your skill and conducted yourselves with class, making Portuguese people everywhere proud. You have shown that a small country can beat the giants and that land amss is not as important as size of the heart and spirit. We will be behind you tonight every step of the way. Do what you have done up to now, make your oppoenents play your game, and show patience knowing that every opportunity you create gets you closer to the prize and you, no WE, will surely win. Forca Portugal!
Is tonight the night
6 Wednesday, 27 June 2012 16:59
Is tonight the night Portugal finally stand up to their big brother??? I sure hope so, but regardless of the outcome in todays match I'm very proud of this team and what they have accomplished!! Already they have defied the critics!!! I am very proud to be Portuguese!!!!!!! Forca Portugal!!!!!!!!!!
All the best green & red
5 Wednesday, 27 June 2012 15:06
Go for Glory! I pray tonight....Portugal will be victorious.....whatever the result...you must be proud. Forca
we need an early goal
4 Wednesday, 27 June 2012 14:40
if Portugal can get off the mark quickly it will suit our playing style, and we can sit back and hit them on the counter quickly.

an early goal would frustrate Spain, and the longer we could hold that advantage the more it would force them to try vertical passes and not just a ball possession game.

I see this as the path to victory.
yes,we will win
3 Wednesday, 27 June 2012 13:58
we will win.this night is for us.viva portugal..
Forca Portugal
2 Wednesday, 27 June 2012 13:46
I have been a harsh critic of Bento. But I need to give credit where credit is due.
I love his comments and thought process. You're right VoR, all Portuguese should be incredibly proud of this squad. A lot of questions were asked of it going into the tourney, and frankly they have answered them.
The Right Mentality
1 Wednesday, 27 June 2012 13:20
I love the way Bento has his team approaching the game - with humility, but also with the mentality that Portugal must take opportunities to impose their will on Spain.

It is a mentality that we didn't seem to have with CQ - who I am not criticizing, I like his appointment when it was announced.

I hope the players heed Bento's instructions - win, draw, or "lose in glorious fashion" (paraphrase Tom Kundert here) if we play the way we can and should, going out at this stage is no shame.

I think Portugal will win this game...I think Bento believes it, the players believe it, jeezus man, even Victor believes it (A FIRST! - kidding Victor). Seriously, there hasn't been this sentiment from fans and country since 2004...this time, the team gets it done.

So very proud of this team.

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