ESTADIO DO DRAGAO (Porto) – Sergio Conceicao wants his Porto side to be “intense, aggressive but, above anything else, smart” when the Portuguese champions will host Inter in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday night.
Speaking in the pre-match press conference at the Estadio do Dragao ahead of tomorrow’s match, Conceicao has urged his team to focus on what they can do in order to overturn their 1-0 first-leg defeat around and progress to the quarter-finals.
“It’ll be a very balanced and complicated game against a side packed with good players”, Conceicao said to the assembled journalists, including Total Italian Football. “We know our opponents but, above all, we’re aware of what we can do.
“We want our team to be intense, aggressive, to put pressure on Inter and, most importantly, to be smart.”
“We prepared the game focusing on what we are as a team. In such high-profile matches, it’s important that we play in a way that makes us feel at ease. If we try to adapt to our opponents too much, things may go wrong”.
Asked whether Porto will need patience in order to go in search of a goal without unbalancing themselves, Conceicao was clear: “We are halfway [through the tie] and we still have 90 minutes to turn it around, so we’ll have to be intelligent during the game.
“After that, we’ll see whether such intelligence will mean being patient or being aggressive in order to create opportunities and score.”
Porto will rely on the support from a packed Estadio do Dragao against an Inter side who come off yet another away defeat in Serie A, losing 2-1 to Spezia on Friday night, something that could pile further pressure on Simone Inzaghi.
“Every defeat is a burden for a club like Inter,” Conceicao said. “However, Serie A and Champions League games are different – I don’t think their approach will be fearful as I’m sure they won’t be affected on a mental level by their recent loss.”