Victory in tonight’s UEFA Cup final would cap a remarkable first season in charge for Sporting coach José Peseiro.
Having joined Sporting after spending a season as assistant to then Real Madrid coach Carlos Queiroz, Peseiro is relishing the challenge of facing CSKA Moscow.
“We share our supporters’ excitement but we also know very well that we’ll only win this match if we play very well and have a winning mentality,” he told uefa.com.
“The fact that we are playing at our own stadium and that most of the supporters will be behind us will not win us this final.”
With the final being played at the Sporting’s Estádio José Alvalade ground, the Portuguese club appear to have a huge advantage tonight. However, Peseiro was quick to point out that home advantage did not guarantee victory for Portugal in last summer’s Euro 2004 final with Greece.
“Portugal were also favourites in last summer’s final,” he said.
“The stadium was full of Portuguese, there was a euphoria around the squad and nobody thought it was possible to lose but Portugal lost. If anyone thinks we have this final in our pockets, they should remember that.”
Their attacking approach play this season has been a characteristic of Sporting’s success this season.
“We said from day one that it is more important to concentrate on our own style of play rather than worrying about our opponents,” said Peseiro.
“We would never neglect the need to understand our adversaries’ strong points and weaknesses. However, what we learn will never interfere too much with our own ideas.”
Inevitably, given his achievements this year, Peseiro has been compared to compatriot Joe Mourinho, who led Porto to success in this competition two seasons ago.
“He’s Mourinho and I’m Peseiro,” said the coach.
“We were colleagues when we were training but we have nothing to do with each other. Sometimes I feel that people give too much importance to the individual and not to the methods.” The proof of the power of Peseiro’s methods will be clear to all on Wednesday.