Portugal may need only one point from their final Group B match against Sweden but Gonçalo Paciência has warned against the dangers of them slipping into a "comfort zone".
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Portugal may need only one point from their final Group B match against Sweden but striker Gonçalo Paciência has warned against the dangers of them slipping into a "comfort zone".
For Gonçalo, Portugal's approach will remain the same even if a draw alone would guarantee their place in the U21 EURO semi-finals and the Olympic Games. He said: "If you enter the pitch with the wrong attitude, feeling comfortable rather than hungry, then you will pay the penalty and things will certainly go wrong."
Gonçalo is keen to play his part in securing the progress of the Group B leaders following his appearance as a substitute during the second half of Sunday's goalless draw against Italy. The Porto B striker came in for Rafa Silva after 54 minutes and enjoyed an important role as Rui Jorge's men raised the tempo of their play.
"I think it was a good debut for me in the competition and I played well," said the 20-year-old son of legendary Porto forward Domingos Paciência. "Of course the outcome wasn't the one we were expecting because we always aim to win, but in the end I believe it was a fair result for both teams."
One aspect of Rui Jorge's team selection against Italy was the fact he made two changes from the opening win over England – notably not using Ricardo at all. It was an attempt to keep players fresh during a tournament where they have to play a game every three days, although Gonçalo himself insists that fatigue is not a problem.
"It's obvious that there's always fatigue but when you're in a tournament like this one and playing for your country, then that fatigue simply disappears."
There have been similar discussions in the Sweden camp, given the Scandinavians played much of their opening match against Italy with ten men, yet Gonçalo expects the Swedes to provide a significant physical challenge.
"We have already watched Sweden's matches and what I can tell you is that they have very physically strong and fast players," he said. "It is going to be a hard test but what we need to do is to concentrate on ourselves and in what we have been doing so far." And avoid the perils of complacency, of course.