“Coach Pereira is giving us the confidence to succeed”
January 18, 2020
On Friday, Joao Ferraz and Tiago Rocha combined for eight of Portugal’s 35 goals against the home team from Sweden, at EURO 2020. On Media Day stregspiller.com caught up with both of them to talk about Iceland the upcoming opponent and the impact coach, Paulo Pereira has on the team.
Can you still talk about Portugal as a “surprise team” at EURO 2020 after the 10-goal win against host Sweden?
JF: Right now, the answer is ‘no’. We showed that we can play good handball, when we are at our best. And, on Friday we did just that against the home team (Sweden ed.) and their 10.000 supporters. The match was really unbelievable, as everything worked for us and each player performed well.
TR: After what we achieved against France in the preliminary round, we were not surprised anymore – not really. We knew exactly what we had to do against Sweden ad we hope to continue like this and get more victories in this competition.
On Sunday you play against Iceland, a team with mixed results thus far…
TR: …yes, but they are a very good team. They do have two or three players that are better known, but they have a quality team all around. They are not carried by a few players and thats why we are focusing on the whole team not just two or three of them. We are looking for victory on Sunday.
JF: Iceland does have some great names, but the entire squad plays good handball and we have to defend at our best if we want to be successful.
How much of a role does your coach, Paulo Pereira, have in explaining your success?
JF: He energizes our team and he is capable of giving us the confidence to succeed. The coach does a very good job.
TR: He is 100% dedicated and prepares us very well for our games. When we are on the court, we know what to do and how do it.
Any signs of fatigue yet?
TR: A little bit, but when you are at this stage you want to play. We want these games at the EURO and we give our best all the time, no matter what.
JF: Agreed – we are so focused on the next match, we don’t think about being tired. And, we are confident that we will continue this way.