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Friday, 24 September 2010 13:05

"We will stand eye-to-eye" - Martins

Interim Maritimo coach feels nothing to lose against Benfica

Maritimo-Stadium.jpgMaritimo are still looking for their first victory of the season and the task will not get any easier this weeked when they host Benfica, but despite the opponents, Pedro Martins will ensure that he has his side up for the challenge.

Maritimo share last palce in the tables with Rio Ave as both teams only have 2 points each. Last week the verde-rubros earned their second consecutive draw, and first point under Martins' leadership.

Just when the Madeira club seem to be picking up a  bit of momentum, Benfica walk into town and are riding a crest of a wave of confidence with two consecutive victories, in all competitions, the last one being a triumph in the Lisbon derby.

The 40-year-old Martins wants his pupils to be brave and put in a good performance because just like Academica, Nacional and Vitoria Guimaraes, they may be able to steal a win from the reigning champions.

"We will have a Maritimo who will look Benfica eye-to-eye. We will take precautions as we know we have some limitations, namely in terms of confidence, but I want a team that has courage, and we will have it," declared Martins.

"I want the team to be courageous and without fear of making a mistake, considering this is a normal challenge and one that should be faced without fear. Benfica, overall, are a strong team and are more focused as a group than worrying about filling up certain individual spots."

Martins also took a stab at this week's events when Vitor Pereira, at the request of Benfica, confirmed that the Lisbon club were on the wrong end of crucial officiating decisions in their matches and feels that the referee for Saturday's contest will be influenced by the mid-week occurences - indirectly doing the same himself.

"We don't believe that the timing of events from the Council of Referees and the institution of Benfica is the the best - it's actually wrong. If it had happened at a time when there were no games, maybe there would have been normal developments from the declarations made."

"In this case, it is evident that the referee this Saturday, unfortunately, will be conditioned. Not because of the pressure of the game itself, which is a demanding game between two big clubs and therefore of great responsibility, but also because of the atmosphere created by remarks from the referees' headquarters. There will be more pressure and that will be an influence, unfortunately."

by Marco Pereira

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