Paulo Bento has promised that his Sporting side will keep their composure when they attempt to kick-start their Group C campaign at home to Basle.
Bento was disappointed by Sporting’s display in losing at Barcelona on Matchday 1, but insists there is no sense of panic at the club.
“We need to win but it’s not an eliminator at this stage,” he said. With the Swiss champions also being beaten two weeks ago, Bento believes Sporting will not fall into the trap of over-committing themselves, adding: “Basel need the points too.”
After fourth and third-placed finishes in the last two Champions League group stages, Sporting are looking to reach the knockout rounds for the first time, but Bento is keen to remper expectations.
“The lineup in this group doesn’t make it any easier to qualify,” he added. “Barcelona are big favourites now, whereas in previous seasons we have had two other teams who have been favourites. But all three sides will be battling and trying their hardest to get second place [behind Barça] and qualify.”
Baslel’s first campaign in this competition for six years got off to a poor start with their home defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk, although coach Christian Gross is staying positive.
“After the result against Shakhtar we are determined to get the right reaction,” said the coach, who is without injured Swiss internationals Eren Derdiyok and Valentin Stocker.
“Sporting are obliged to go for the win too, but to have any chance of going through we need the three points. That means we need to be intelligent and courageous. We’re not going to get ten chances, but we may get four and hopefully we can score two of those.
“It’s a new season and a different team. We know their strengths and it will be a tough game, but we are coming here with the right spirit.”