Football

01 August 2022, 15h37

Roger Schmidt

PREVIEW

Roger Schmidt, the Benfica coach, previewed the eagles' match against Midtjylland, in the 1st leg of the 3rd qualifying round of the Champions League.

Roger Schmidt

What do you think about Midtjylland? It would be good to get a good result in the first leg, at Luz, in front of the Benfica fans...

When we play the first match at home, we have to make the most of that advantage, because then the decisive match will be away and that will be a slight advantage for the opponent. They changed coaches last week, so they must have a somewhat different approach than before. They have already played one match with the new coach, who has brought a new energy to the group. They won a game, they are confident again. We respect this team very much, they are an excellent team. We are ready to fight against Midtjylland in these two games to go through to the next phase.We feel the confidence of the pre-season, but tomorrow [Tuesday] we have to show the same courage, the same attitude and energy that we showed in the friendly games. Ultimately, we are ready, and with the help of the fans at the stadium we hope to have an excellent first match. In the match with Newcastle [in the Eusébio Cup] we already had a feel for what it's like to play at home. I expect a sold out stadium and we will do our best to give the fans a good first match.

Roger Schmidt

"I expect a sold out stadium and we will do our best to give the fans a good first match"

Roger Schmidt

It is your first official match at the helm of the Benfica team. How do you feel?

I am happy that we are now starting official matches. The pre-season is also important for us, because for teams playing international matches it is the only time when we can train with the players. When we start, it will be matches practically every other day and there won't be many opportunities for training. It's a pleasure to play these matches! We also know that when there are qualifying rounds there is always pressure, because obviously we want to play in the Champions League group stage, that's normal. I'm very excited and looking forward to seeing the players on the pitch. 

Roger Schmidt

"The most important thing is to worry about ourselves. We have a clear idea of how we want to play"

You have practically always chosen the same starting eleven in pre-season friendly matches Will you surprise in this game?

We'll see, but there haven't been many changes. Practically all the players have shown that they are in good physical and also technical condition. The players have created a great team spirit and have shown that they are prepared and are there when we need them. As a coach, I must make decisions, and I feel that we need everyone, especially when there are so many matches on the agenda.

Roger Schmidt

"We noticed that they have a new energy in the team, but there is also a lot that remains"

You have already talked about the change of Midtjylland's coach. It was a last-minute change. Did it change your approach to the match in any way?

To be honest, the most important thing is to worry about ourselves. We have a clear idea of how we want to play. Of course there will always be details that depend on the opponent's technical behavior, their strengths, and their individual qualities, but 80 to 90 percent of the plan is how we want to play football. Of course we have to think about some adjustments. We saw the team play on Friday afternoon, we noticed that it has a new energy, but there is also a lot that remains. It's not a totally new team.

Text: Nuno Miguel Machado and Sónia Antunes
Photos: Isabel Cutileiro / SL Benfica
Last update: Monday, August 1, 2022

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