Schmidt on the market: «It is possible that some players want to leave, that others may arrive…» – Benfica

Roger Schmidt spoke this Tuesday to journalists at the press conference held after the end of Benfica-Newcastle. The Benfica coach praised the players, especially Alejandro Grimaldo, who today scored a goal with a beautiful effect but was also linked to one of the goals scored by the English at Luz, spoke about the evolution that the team has made during this pre-match. season that today comes to an end and still about possible entries and exits in the squad.
Great atmosphere, great test: Is Benfica growing?
“Yes, I think at the end of pre-season my feeling is that the players are improving well. We’ve trained a lot in the last few weeks and I think we’ve made a pass forward and evolved over the course of this pre-season. Today was a great test for us, because we played against a great opponent and physically strong. But we also showed our quality in some moments, especially in the first half. We created chances to score, we had some moments in defence, close and inside our area, where we had tactically perfect and I know we can do better. We could have done some things a little better. Newcastle tried to change their way of playing, using the wingers a little more and in those moments our full-backs needed a little more support. But that’s why we have these tests, in order to understand what the next steps are. I’m happy that we won the game in the end. It’s true that it was just another game, but the name of the Cup is Eusébio, one of the best players in the history of Portugal, so we had to show ourselves to the game and do everything to win. I’m very happy with today’s result.”


Schmidt defends Grimaldo: «It is very easy to point the finger at him and blame him, but we make other mistakes»

Is starting eleven already formed in the head? What cuts do you need to make?
“We won five games in the pre-season, but we know very well that as soon as the first official game starts, the pre-season is behind us. I think we can, yes, use these games to gain even more confidence. About the starting eleven, I think differently as a coach. For me, it’s something that’s always changing. It doesn’t mean that because I use an eleven that I’ll repeat it in 60 games. Today we started with these players, just like in the last game. most of them repeated the starting position because they were in good shape. All the players are in good shape and they all deserved to have played today, but I can’t play with all of them. For me, right now, it’s good to have a lot of players in good physical shape. Smart on the spot from a tactical point of view, but also from a physical point of view. I think we are ready for the start of the season.”

Some would rather win 1-0 than 3-2 or 4-3… How do you prefer? What ideas do you have about the team?
“In the end, the most important thing is to win. Of course, the best thing is to do it without conceding, even for the confidence of our defensive sector. We always want to have the ball as far away from our goal as possible, but it’s not always possible, because opponents also have their quality and value. We didn’t give our opponents many chances to score in this preseason. Today, they had some chances. As I said before, in these moments, with two goals ahead, we have to take other decisions. It’s not just one player’s mistakes, but the team’s. I know we know how to defend better in these moments. We know it wasn’t a perfect game. We have to use this game as an example to improve for the week.”

I want to ask you if you want a new goalkeeper, a new midfielder and a new winger. I tell you about Ricardo Horta and Aursnes.
“We have a lot of players, so I have great respect for all our players, especially for the way they’ve managed this phase. [mercado de transferências] that is not easy. When we went to the training camp we had 39 players, which is a lot, but in training I saw that the quality is top, top. When there are these transfer periods, it is normal for clubs to try to improve the teams as much as possible and with us it is the same. It is possible that some players want to leave, that others may come, but at the moment my focus is on playing against Midtjylland. I know how important this game is for the club and for all of us. I cannot comment on rumors.”

Newcastle was probably the best opponent that Benfica faced this pre-season. Do you think this was an important game for the test with Midtjylland?
“Of course it was a different game, against an opponent who was equally different in tactical terms. [dos restantes que o Benfica defrontou na pré-temporada]. Today was also a more physical game, but we have to be prepared for that and today was a good example. I think our players did well, they won a lot of matches. It was a very good test for next Tuesday’s game, but we have to adjust our tactics taking into account the opponent we are going to face. From today we will analyze them because we know they are our opponent”, he concluded.