Braga manager Artur Jorge fielding questions ahead of Braga's clash with Panathinaikos in Portugal, Tuesday, August 22, 2023. (Photo: Athens News Agency/Kostas Goulis)
BRAGA – S.C. Braga’s coach, Artur Jorge, stressed the significance of enhancing his team’s performance during a press conference on Tuesday (8/22). This comes a day before their pivotal match against Panathinaikos in the Champions League playoffs, set to take place at the “Estadio Municipal de Braga” on 8/23 at 10 p.m. local time.
Jorge labeled the upcoming matches against the “greens” as some of the most crucial in Braga’s recent European Cup history. He’s eager to see his team return to the Champions League group stages after a hiatus.
“We’re determined to showcase our ambition,” Jorge began. “These upcoming matches are pivotal in Braga’s recent history. We’re just two games away from a significant milestone. Panathinaikos has demonstrated their quality in recent qualifiers. We anticipate a challenging game, as both teams are vying for a spot in the next Champions League phase.”
Jorge continued, “Hosting the first game could set a positive tone for the rematch. The stakes are high, and we’re counting on our fans’ incredible support to give us an edge. Advancing to the group stage is paramount.”
When questioned about his tactical preference, Jorge responded, “Braga maintains a balanced profile. We’ve netted 12 goals in official matches this season. We view our team holistically, aiming to win regardless of offensive or defensive stats. We don’t bifurcate our team into defense and offense; we aim for holistic excellence.”
Regarding potential transfers, Jorge remarked, “With only a week left in the transfer window, our primary focus remains on the upcoming game.”
On Panathinaikos, Jorge noted, “They’re an aggressive offensive team, swift in transitions. Their 4-3-3 formation is potent, especially on the wings. Both teams boast individual talents, and we’ll capitalize on our offensive moments. Every team at this level has earned their spot, and we’ll approach this match with utmost seriousness.”
Spanish striker for Braga, Abel Ruith, added, “This series is paramount, as it could lead us to the Champions League group stage—a goal we’ve pursued since last season. Panathinaikos is formidable. They’ve bested teams like Marseille, and we anticipate a tough game. Our aim is to progress to the next phase and delight our fans.”
Panathinaikos’ squad arriving in Portugal ahead of tomorrow’s match:
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