Sunday, March 26, 2017

Hungary clash a ´final´ for Portugal – Santos

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 18 Jun 2016

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Portugal coach Fernando Santos told his players to prepare for a “final” as he refused to discuss Cristiano Ronaldo’s performance.

The Real Madrid star missed a second-half penalty as Santos’ men were held to a 0-0 draw by Austria in Paris on Saturday, leaving them on two points and third in Group F.

Santos was unwilling to be drawn into discussing Ronaldo in his post-match news conference, urging his team to turn their focus to Wednesday’s clash against Hungary.

“I do not want to talk about Cristiano, please,” he said.

“The Portuguese journalists know not to ask because I only talk about the team and not individual players.

“We are going through a tough time right now. It’s always the case but we need to switch tack immediately. 

“We can’t wallow in our own misery now. We have to think that there is a final to play on the 22nd.”

While Portugal had their chances, the best fell to Ronaldo in the 79th minute via the spot – but he put his penalty against the post.

Santos said the result was unfair on his team, but he was keen to quickly move on.

“When we talk about the team we have to focus right now. We can’t concentrate on our missed chances, fair or unfair. This is all football,” he said.

“This was unfair but it is useless to discuss it right now. The next match is a final for us.

“The game against Iceland wasn’t great but it was OK, it was enough to win it. If we’d won it would have been a major step forward.

“Today we had another very positive match but what we need now is to play the next match, the next final. We need to win it and that will make the team grow. That’s what we need right now.”

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