Braga wants to “discuss the game” against “very strong” Naples, warns Artur Jorge.
Naples “is a very strong team”, but Braga wants to “discuss the game”, on Wednesday, in the first round of Group C of the Champions League, said the coach of the Minho team, Artur Jorge, this Tuesday.
“They are an opponent with a lot of individual quality, which translates into the strength of their team. Despite having changed coach, after completely dominating Serie A last season, they maintain that strength, which we want to counteract, with a quality team and with the same ambition, to be competitive and be able to discuss the game”, said the coach, at the press conference previewing the reception of the Italian champions.
Artur Jorge recalled the difficulty of the group, with Naples, Real Madrid and Union Berlin, which will put the “arsenalist” team to the test, with “maximum demands”.
“This requires us to readapt our approach to the game, much more rigorous and committed, strategically better performed, to be at the level of what the game can bring us. We will play against the Italian champions, a very strong team, but we have the possibility of discuss the game until the end”, he reinforced.
Braga is coming off a clear defeat against Farense (3-1), in the last round, and Artur Jorge admitted that, although, in nine official games, the Minho team have won six, “the start of the I League has not been coincidental” with the team’s ambitions.
The coach attributed favoritism, in theoretical terms, to Napoli, which could “relieve the players’ emotional burden”.
“We want to enjoy, but that is not playing for the sake of playing. Competition cannot be a problem, but the solution for our growth as a team and club. Balance is needed in the face of expectations. We will have a Braga that will try not to shrink and will try to win the game, it’s the DNA of this team”, he said.
The Neapolitan team has two wins, one draw and one defeat in the four rounds of the Italian championship, but Artur Jorge said he expects a “very strong” Naples.
“We saw the game with Lazio, in which they lost (at home 2-1), and with Genoa, in which after a 2-0 deficit they drew, and it seemed to me like some savings for Wednesday. It’s a team which keeps us alert. But, I’m more worried about my team, that Braga can have the internal focus and the courage to have the ability to go in search of winning the game”, he said.
Asked by the Italian press whether it would not be a risk for an almost 40-year-old central defender like José Fonte to mark the speedy striker Victor Osimhen, the Portuguese coach replied: “My concern is how we are going to reach the opposite goal and how Napoli’s central defenders, also in their 30s, they will deal with Álvaro Djaló, Bruma, Abel Ruiz and Banza”.
Braga and Nápoles face each other from 8pm on Wednesday, at the Braga Municipal Stadium, in a game that will be refereed by the Dutch Serdar Gözübüyük.