Bento predicts battle for ball
Portugal coach says his side want possession as much as Holland
By Rebecca Stephenson. Last Updated: June 16, 2012 6:13pm
Paulo Bento: Portugal coach wants domination against Holland
Paulo Bento insists his Portugal side want to dominate against the Netherlands on Sunday, dismissing expectations that they will play on the counter-attack.
The Portuguese need to better Denmark's result against Germany to be sure of qualification, whilst matching it would require mathematicians to determine the sides' fate.
Holland, meanwhile, know they must win by at least two clear goals to have any chance of qualification, which has left many expecting a Dutch onslaught in Kharkiv.
But Bento says his side are not resigned to surrendering the ball to the Oranje.
He said: "We know what Holland's strategy will be from the start. You see it with all Dutch teams. They like to have the ball and control the game.
"We know what Holland's strategy will be from the start. You see it with all Dutch teams. They like to have the ball and control the game."
Paulo Bento Quotes of the week
"But this doesn't mean we have to rely on counter-attacks. We have to try to control the game, not only in terms of our defending but also by having possession of the ball and looking for shots at goal.
"What we're trying to be is the team that makes the most opportunities, and we have shown that in our games against Germany and Denmark."
But Bento does admit there will be periods in the game where they will have to stand firm.
He said: "In a well-balanced group like this, you cannot dominate a game for 90 minutes
"It's about not losing your identity on the pitch. We suffered adverse situations in both our games, but we never lost our confidence."
With a group this precariously poised, it is inevitable that events in Lviv, where Germany face Denmark, will affect the atmosphere in the stadium.
But Bento insists the squad's focus will be on the task in hand.
He continued: "We won't worry about the other game -- we'll be 100 per cent focused on our game.
"We want to win the game and take the three points, and then we'll see what happens.
"If we think it will benefit the players to tell them about what's happening in the other game, we will do it."