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No pressure for Santos ahead of Austria clash

Portugal coach Fernando Santos does not believe his team are under significantly more pressure at Euro 2016 due to their surprise opening draw against Iceland.

Santos’ men will look to kick-start their Group F campaign against Austria in Paris on Saturday – opponents who endured an even more chastening experience last time out as they went down 2-0 to neighbours Hungary.

“We’ve always been under pressure. We’ve been under pressure since we got here,” Santos told his pre-match news conference at the Parc des Princes.

‘I don’t think there’s minimum pressure, I think there’s always maximum pressure. This is another match under the same pressure.

“After the first match day, maybe this added a bit of pressure but the match itself has not changed.

“Austria has it’s own characteristics, they want to be in charge and on top of the match and Portugal likes to do the same.

“If both teams had won it would be a little but different but both teams would want to win anyway because it is part of their DNA.

“The players are motivated and our goals are to win every match. I trust all the players and what they can produce. We respect our opponent as we always do.

“We are not convinced that we are the best but we do not fear any team.

“In our group there are three teams who are very strong and they all have different characteristics.”

Santos defended star man Cristiano Ronaldo for accusing Iceland for having a “small mentality” with regards to their tactics and post-match celebrations in Saint-Etienne and the former Benfica, Sporting CP and Porto boss implied Austria will take a more rounded approach than Portugal’s previous foes.

“I don’t think these teams are gung ho, they are not insane. They will want balanced performances, Portugal and Austria will try to take risks in a balanced way,” he added.

“Austria will not just stick to the counter-attack, they will try to attack in a positive way. We won’t have 70 per cent possession.

“It will be a tough match. Both teams will have their chances and there will be a lot of transitions.”

Fri 17 Jun, 2016
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