Statements by the Benfica coach, at the press conference previewing the meeting with Gil Vicente, scheduled for this Saturday (8:30 pm) and referring to the third round of the I Liga
Roger Schmidt stressed this Friday that his role » as Benfica’s football coach is to ensure that « what counts is Benfica » and that the team is prepared to « win the game » against Gil Vicente.
In a press conference previewing the game on matchday three against Gil Vicente, the Benfica coach chose to remain oblivious to the usual « bustle » corresponding to the last days of the transfer market, noting that his job consists of « being completely focused on the team ».
« Some agents want their players to leave to make money, there’s always a lot of confusion these weeks, but my role as coach of Benfica is to be completely focused on the team, on what we have to do, and the only thing that counts is Benfica « , stressed the German coach at Benfica Campus, in Seixal.
Roger Schmidt makes it clear that the only objective on his mind is to « win tomorrow’s game (Saturday) » in Barcelos, and that his focus is on the « 22 players and three goalkeepers » he commands, not expecting to suffer lots of squad changes with so few transfer market days to go (application period closes in a week).
« We have to win tomorrow’s game (Saturday) and the current situation in our team is that we have 22 players and three goalkeepers, which is good, but it’s the minimum and we can’t lose many players, it’s impossible especially one week before the closing of the market. At this moment, something always happens behind the scenes and some adjustments are still possible », he recognized.
The coach addressed the current dispute for a place in Benfica’s goal and downplayed the controversy created regarding the situation of goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos, indicating that his stance was just « being as honest as possible » with the Greek, as he intends to be for any of its players, regardless of their position on the pitch.
« I try to be honest, very honest about my opinions about the players and the games. As honest as I can be, I don’t think he was in top form. It doesn’t matter what the player’s position is, whether he’s a goalkeeper, a midfielder. center or a striker, it’s not a problem to talk about it. It wasn’t a criticism of the person, just what happened in the game », he justified.
With Vlachodimos in the group, Roger Schmidt was satisfied with the quantity and quality of the players he has at his disposal and pointed out that the usual market rumors and some usual noise during the week do not interfere with the team’s preparation.
« What I see at the moment is very good, I’m happy with them, with their attributes. There are always rumors and noise around the club, but not in our team », assured the German, who showed confidence in the entire squad.
Without being able to count on David Jurásek, who is recovering from an ankle ligament injury, Schmidt defended his choice to adapt midfielder Fredrik Aursnes to the left-back position, revealing that the player is also used to playing that role.
« He (Aursnes) is used to playing in the offensive midfield, on the left side, and last season he rotated many times and was often also responsible for the left-back position, not only attacking but also defending. that, used to that and we had to make a decision », explained the technician.
Roger Schmidt justified the choice of Aursnes for the left flank due to the need to « find spaces » and to have the ball in his possession to do so, which led to the entry of another midfielder.
« My choice on that day was to have Fredrik there and another player in the offensive midfield. In these games we have a lot of possession of the ball and we have to find solutions and a few more spaces, as we saw last week against Estrela da Amadora » , he concluded.
Benfica face Gil Vicente on Saturday, in a match for the third round of the I Liga scheduled to start at 8:30 pm, at Estádio Cidade de Barcelos, with refereeing by João Pinheiro, from the Braga Football Association.