After about two weeks of rest, Sp. Braga returns to the competition this Friday, and he has a difficult match ahead of him against Benfica, in the 28th day of the championship.
In a pre-match press conference, the Braga coach admitted that these days were good for restoring energy and setting the tone for the match against the Reds.
“It’s a very high difficulty game, but we’ll do everything to win the game. That’s our ambition, no offense to Benfica, a great team that has recovered in the league and had an excellent Champions League. It has to be a night like this at Sp. Braga, with the best of each player contributing to the collective,” said Carlos Carvalhal.
A match which precedes the first duel with Rangers for the quarter-finals of the Europa League, scheduled for Thursday. The focus, Carvalhal guarantees, is on the eagles, but always with the thought of doing his best in all competitions.
“I don’t even remember that we played on Thursday, only on Saturday when I fly to see the Vieille Firme [clássico com o Celtic] in Glasgow, I will think of the Rangers. The group is focused on Benfica. We go game after game, trying to do our best in every competition. I have to reinforce and make people known, because no one echoes each other: we are the youngest team and the one that attacks and shoots the most in the Europa League”, he said.
Afterwards, Carvalhal was asked if the uncertainty over Nélson Veríssimo’s future could influence the Benfica side, but he interpreted the question as being about his own future and pulled the strings.
“I have known President António Salvador since I was eight years old. You have done a fantastic job. When I was contacted to come to Sp. Braga, I had an offer from one of the best clubs in the world, I was going to earn five times more, and I opted for Sp. Braga. We managed to overcome several challenges. We managed to win the Portuguese Cup, the most important trophy in the club’s history. It is also the third time the club has reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League, and with a declared bet on training. From my point of view, it has been a fantastic job. There are a few things along the way, but I might. We were given an attractive challenge, and for the next job everything is open, including staying in Sp. Braga or Portugal, or going to Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Europe. But right now we are focused on our work. We don’t care about the rest at all. In due time we will reflect. And we don’t regret turning down other offers. Just experiencing nights like the games with Monaco and Sheriff or tomorrow with Benfica already covers that money. All this structure will be marked in the 100 years of history”, replied the one who does not consider that the instability experienced by the opponent can affect performance on the ground.
For the rest, the 56-year-old coach also played down Darwin’s possible absence from Benfica: “We are prepared for several scenarios. We have studied the Benfica team well, we know that certain types of players will be able to play. The dynamics of Benfica do not change, the characteristics of the players change. But we will be prepared for the different scenarios.
The sp. Braga hosts Benfica this Friday, from 8:15 p.m.