Dorival Júnior issues warning after São Paulo’s victory over Flamengo

Dorival Júnior issues warning after São Paulo’s victory over Flamengo

Coach Dorival Júnior was satisfied after the São Paulo victory over Flamengo 1-0, this Sunday, at Maracanã. However, the coach did not give himself the right to celebrate the victory in the first match of the Copa do Brasil decision with more enthusiasm. In at least five moments of the long press conference he gave at the stadium, the coach warned that the competition is undefined and that São Paulo “will have to play more” if it wants to confirm the title.

“The decision is not defined, the championship is not defined. I know the opponent, we have to be very careful and run much harder than today (Sunday)”, warned Dorival, who last year won the Copa do Brasil precisely commanding Flamengo . “It’s just the first stage of a 180-minute game. We can’t forget who’s on the other side, the qualification of this group that I know very well. We’re going to have to do a lot more.”

The coach praised his team’s attitude and thanked the rest of the coaching staff. According to Dorival, the team did everything they planned in training throughout the week on the Maracanã pitch.

“We prepared very well for this match. The performance analysis people, our assistants, they did an exemplary job. This gave us the conditions to provide very important things to the players”, maintained the coach.

According to Dorival, Flamengo’s lineup with three strikers and Everton Ribeiro on the bench was one of the two that he and his assistants imagined could happen, which reinforces his comment about the team being well prepared for this Sunday’s game.

“We prepared the team with Everton’s entry at first, as well as theoretically playing in a 4-3-3. But these are just numbers. Gabriel enters very well in the middle, Pedro floats very well, at a certain moment they almost form a diamond. I expected Flamengo in these two possibilities, and it was with them that we worked throughout the week.”

The coach also spoke about the sequence of games and how, paradoxically, the stop on the FIFA date ended up hindering the preparation for this final with Flamengo. “We played a very complicated game on Wednesday with Inter in Porto Alegre, with three days of rain, a very heavy field. Three days later, we are back on the field to play the final of the Copa do Brasil”, recalled Dorival. “We would go almost 22 days without playing if we didn’t put the team to play (in Porto Alegre). And, if we did, there would be a risk of losing a player to the decision.”

Still, the match in Porto Alegre had consequences this Sunday. Alisson was substituted in the second half after feeling cramps. Two other players, according to Dorival, also reported tiredness throughout the match.

Now, the coach will have the whole week to prepare the team and rest the starters – he should use the reserves against Fortaleza, on Wednesday, in the Brasileirão. He also called for a full stadium next Sunday to “close this championship with a flourish.” “Until six months ago, a little less, this team was being criticized a lot, attacked, and they managed to restore the joy and confidence of the São Paulo fans”, recalled the coach.

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