Unai Emery and Daniel Carriço emphasised the need for Sevilla FC to bide their time as they look to overturn a 1-0 deficit against FC Porto in their UEFA Europa League quarter-final.
The Spanish side host the Dragons trailing to Eliaquim Mangala's 31st-minute header during last week's first leg in northern Portugal. Rather than rush to restore parity, and thereby leave themselves open to the counterattack, both coach and defender say the Rojiblancos, whose campaign began in the third qualifying round on 1 August, must be prepared to play the long game.
Above all, though, the two-time UEFA Cup winners have to be disciplined at the back if they are to avenge their away goals loss to Porto in the 2010/11 round of 32, a result that included a 2-1 home defeat. "We need to be calm – there are 90 minutes," said former Sporting Clube de Portugal man Carriço, nearing the end of a season-long loan from English club Reading FC. "We have one goal less than Porto and the most important thing is to defend very well."
Emery explained: "We need to have patience, we have to work for the whole 90 minutes. We need to have answers to whatever happens. It would be good for us if the match takes a long time and we have chances to win. The way we play is more important than tactics or players. We need to be strong as a team, create attacking situations and have defensive plans in case we lose possession."
A potential plus for Sevilla is the absence of Porto striker Jackson Martínez, the Portuguese Liga's 18-goal top scorer this term, and Fernando because of suspension. Emery, himself without banned defender Alberto Moreno, is loath to view it that way, however. "I don't judge Porto based on those who are missing but on the players who will replace them," he said.
Despite Martínez's unavailability, Luís Castro will send out Porto will a clear aim. "We need to score quickly – if we get a goal that will give us a big advantage," said the coach, whose team successfully defended a 1-0 advantage away to SSC Napoli in the last round. "This is a different game to Napoli, and we have to prepare for this match. We dominated the first leg, although we only got one goal. We have to dominate this match as well."
Despite his lofty ambitions, and Sevilla's 2-0 home reverse to city rivals Real Betis Balompié in the round of 16, Castro knows surviving unscathed at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán could prove a tall order. "We have to play with quality. Sevilla are a great team, they're fifth in the best league in the world and that proves they are a very good side. The players are very excited, it will be difficult, but [scoring] the goal is a motivation for us."
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