Porto prepared to suffer and make Barcelona suffer too
Porto welcome Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday, a side unbeaten in their nine games this season, and while manager Sergio Conceicao knows his team will need to suffer, they are confident of making their opponents suffer too.
A 3-1 win at Shakhtar Donetsk in their opening game gave Porto a good start but they now face Group H favourites and La Liga champions Barcelona, who put five past visitors Antwerp without reply in their first match.
“We will suffer with Barcelona, but Barcelona will suffer with FC Porto too,” Conceicao told reporters on Tuesday.
“Making us suffer during the game is part of Barcelona’s quality, but we hope that translates into us saving our goal (not conceding).”
Porto’s manager is well aware of the importance of the game, along with the size and history of both clubs, but insists none of that matters when the players have a job to do.
“I don’t talk about history to my players. I talk about the recent past, the observation we make. We have to guide the game towards what, strategically, we prepared,” Conceicao added.
Porto were unbeaten in their first six domestic league games this season but lost 1-0 at Benfica on Friday. However, that has not dampened their manager’s confidence of getting a result against Barca.
“All teams have weaknesses to exploit. We have to have defensive consistency and then take advantage of some weaknesses to win the game,” he said.
“Let’s look at the game thinking that we can and should win the game, with confidence. The respect we have doesn’t have to make us afraid of anything.”