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Bento urges Portugal to stay calm

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 3 Jun 2012

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Portugal coach Paulo Bento has called on the team to keep their faith in the wake of the surprise 3-1 Euro 2012 warm-up defeat to Turkey.

Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty as Umut Bulut’s double and a late own goal from Pepe severely dented Portugal’s preparations ahead of this summer’s European Championship, while extending their poor run to just one win in their last six games.

However, with their Group B opener against Germany exactly seven days away, Bento highlighted the importance of his players maintaining their self-belief, having come a long way to qualify for the competition.

“I think it’s an unfair result, but we must continue to believe in what we’re doing,” Bento said after the game.

“We must not lose hope. The support (we received) was fantastic, but at the end of the day, it is the result that matters most.”

The former Portugal and Sporting Lisbon midfielder then reflected on the match against Abdullah Avci’s side, and lamented that nothing went right for his players on the night.

“Usually when you lose, it seems that everything had gone wrong. Nothing in this game went the way it should have gone,” he said.

“Judging by how we started the game, we should have scored before Turkey. After they took the lead, we had some chances but could not take them.

“We tried our best to fix what was wrong, but we ended up conceding a second.

“Obviously we made some mistakes. It is clear that when we let in three goals that we cannot forget about the errors after the match.”

Meanwhile, Portugal winger Nani was forced to limp off the pitch in the final minutes of the game, but doctor Henrique Jones reassured the country’s fans that his setback may not be as bad as first feared.

“He has severe bruising on his right foot but it looks like he does not need much medical care,” the doctor said after the game.

“Nani is complaining about discomfort, but we are optimistic over his recovery.”

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