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Bento sidesteps pitch problems

SoccerNews in European Championships 21 Jun 2012

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Portugal coach Paulo Bento has played down his team’s lack of pre-match preparation going into their Euro 2012 quarter-final in Warsaw.

Bento’s team are up against Czech Republic in the last eight of the UEFA tournament on Thursday, but have been unable to train at Poland’s National Stadium due to the poor condition of the surface.

Citing his team’s 2-1 Group B win over the Netherlands in their first visit to the Metalist Stadium, Bento stressed the importance of Portugal’s preparation behind the scenes.

“Remember that Netherlands played three times in Kharkiv and our team was there for the first time and we had a great performance,” he said.

“So I don’t think it can make any kind of influence on our strategy. Besides that, having 50 minutes or one hour for adaption practice doesn’t make any difference on the … match.

“What really matters is our previous planning and our strategy. That’s what we did in Kharkiv. Since then we had more training opportunities. Now we are confident but with a dose of humility because that helped us on getting here.

“We use as many players as we can on defending and the same when attacking. We have players for each of those situations. And players that can do both as well. We have to define our strategy considering this – try to hide our downsides (by) showing our qualities because fortunately we have plenty of it.”

Portugal are regarded as the favourites to progress at the Czech Republic’s expense, but midfielder Joao Moutinho insists the team are focused on the task in hand.

“We don’t have to think about the semi-finals nor the final,” Moutinho said.

“Our focus is tomorrow’s match. We can’t dream about anything else. This game will be extremely difficult against a team with great results from (their) last fixtures. They will give us a hard time.”

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