SL Benfica coach Jorge Jesus is advocating caution as his side take a 3-1 cushion into their round of 16 second leg with Tottenham Hotspur FC, stating that the Águias must be "very careful" in Lisbon on Thursday night.
Leading the Portuguese Liga and preparing for a domestic cup semi-final with FC Porto on 26 March, Jesus knows he must manage his resources wisely if he is to go all the way in the UEFA Europa League this term. "It is a challenge," said the 59-year-old, who believes his team's failure in last season's final as well as the Portuguese Cup showpiece will not impact on this campaign. "We are used to it. What happened last season happens again in this one – many matches with few days to rest. We have to pick the best players for each match. There are no ghosts or anything else from what happened last season."
Despite picking up three away goals in north London last week, Jesus remains circumspect ahead of the return. "We won there but we are not qualified yet. They have lots of quality players that can do the same here that we did in London. We have to be very careful with Tottenham."
Forward Eduardo Salvio, who missed the first leg with flu, is looking forward to being involved in the second instalment – and is determined to finish off Spurs. "We are confident and happy to be at this stage of the UEFA Europa League and we'll try to continue playing in this great competition," said the 23-year-old. "I am fine and ready to help the team. There is no extra pressure because we missed out last season. We got a good result in London and now we want to go through."
Meanwhile, Lilywhites manager Tim Sherwood will send his side out with all guns blazing, accepting he has no other choice. "We have nothing to lose. We have come here to give our best," said the former midfielder, who was appointed in December. "We are Tottenham Hotspur and we go out to win every game. We have to be optimistic and hope to give some pride back to our fans. The goal is to win 3-0. We must do the best we possibly can in order to give some joy to the 3,000 fans who have come here and all those at home."
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