In the 34th and last round of the championship, the ‘wolves’ are just two points behind the locals, who will still have to face FC Porto, and the coach believes that the players will be able to overcome the fatigue inherent in the late stage of the season.
“We hope that the levels of concentration and will are at their maximum. We have been working in that direction, so that we can go to Portimão and play a good game, although there is always that part (attrition), which sometimes cannot be controlled. Our concern this week was to keep the team alert, it seems to me that the message was well received and I feel the group motivated to win”, he explained, in a press conference.
The technician expects difficulties against Portimonense, who, in 13th place, have their maintenance assured, something that Evangelista believes can lead opponents to have “actions and decision-making without pressure” and, in this way, overcome themselves.
“It’s a game in which Portimonense will say goodbye to the season in front of their fans and will probably want to leave one last positive image. It will be an interesting game to follow, we will feel the difficulties of playing away from home, but we want to win”, predicted.
With the end of one of the most successful seasons in the club’s history, with a guaranteed presence in the Europa Conference and prolific campaigns in the Taça da Liga and Taça de Portugal, the coach, who took over the club while still in the II Liga, did not fail to take stock of the path taken.
“Being able to be in a European competition after three years of work, which, for me, were very successful, and leaving this mark in Europe is a reason for great satisfaction. Those who don’t know Arouca from the inside will look at these three years and see that there has been an evolution. The brand is here”, he said.
The club, which was in the Portuguese Championship in 2019/2020, has progressively evolved to become one of the main national emblems, and Evangelista explained that growth should mainly involve “uniting the village more” to the team, regretting that Arouca is one of the teams with the lowest average attendance in the top division.
“I think that Arouca, not being a big municipality, with a lot of population, can still bring a lot of people to the stadium. It is one of the aspects that we can make the club grow. (…) The part of the supporters makes the club grow, we grow depending on the number we have. They make the club. In that chapter, we can still grow and I believe we will,” he concluded.
As for the absences for Saturday’s game, Evangelista remains without Oday Dabbagh, Weverson, Vitinho and Benji Michel, all injured.
Arouca, ranked sixth, with 51 points, travels to the Algarve to face Portimonense, 13th, with 34, starting at 18:00 on Saturday (Mainland Portugal).