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Benfica coach promises better effort in Lisbon

Benfica boss Jorge Jesus is adamant that his side will bounce back from their 1-0 Europa League defeat to Fenerbahce.

“Everything will be different in Lisbon,” Jesus said.

The Portuguese were nowhere near their best in Istanbul and had already seen their hosts hit the woodwork three times before Egemen Korkmaz secured a 1-0 victory with 18 minutes to go.

Jesus had no complaints about the final result but was keen to stress that fatigue had been a major factor in his side’s strangely subdued showing.

“We had a very tiring match against Sporting Lisbon at the weekend and we did not arrive here completely ready,” he said.

“In Lisbon, everything will be different. We still have another game so we remain hopeful of going through.”

Jesus ruled out complacency for the defeat.

“Weak teams do not reach semi-finals,” he said.

“So that Fenerbahce played a good game was not a surprise to us. Fenerbahce were much better than us tonight but, like I say, it will be different in Lisbon.”

Benfica are bidding to reach their first continental tournament decider since being beaten 1-0 by AC Milan in the 1990 European Cup final.

Meanwhile, Fenerbache coach Aykut Kocaman is taking nothing for granted ahead of the second leg.

“It was very important for us not to concede, and we managed that today,” he said.

“Physically, I think we showed our strength tonight and we have managed to secure an advantage for the second leg.

“The final is by no means certain but we will do our best to make it. For now, I would just like to congratulate all of my players.”

Aykut also insisted that he would not be taking the penalty-taking duties away from Cristian in light of his miss just before the break.

“It’s meaningless to discuss this top,” he argued. “Penalties are missed. Cristian’s our No.1 penalty taker and he will continue to take them.”

Fenerbahce, who defeated Lazio in the quarter-finals, are making their first appearance in the last four of a European competition.

Fenerbahce goalkeeper Volkan Demirel was delighted with the win.

“We played really well today,” he told reporters.

“I congratulate my team-mates and our coach. We have again showed everyone what we can do and what you can achieve when you believe.”

Fri 26 April, 2013
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