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FC Porto v Olhanense: A tale of two coaches

March 30, 2012 By Tom Kundert
It was a big surprise when former Portugal international Sérgio Conceição was named the new Olhanense coach in January.
A successful, exciting but temperamental player for FC Porto and Lazio, among others, Conceição has lost none of his fire. Over-exuberant touchline activity has landed him in trouble with the Portuguese football authorities, and already earned him lengthy suspensions from the dugout.

But he has done a good job at transmitting his infectious enthusiasm into the team. The modest Algarve club are currently comfortably placed in seventh in the table, are unbeaten in six games and come into the match on the back of an impressive draw at home to Benfica last week.

“We’re in good form, so with all respect and humility, we will be going to the Estádio do Dragão to earn points,” said Conceição, as he prepared to take his charges to his former club.

In contrast, no matter how hard he attempts to disguise it, the mood of FC Porto coach Vítor Pereira is not nearly so upbeat.

Pereira has had to justify himself in the face of increasing levels of criticism throughout the season. “The critics can say what they like, but we are the team that has scored the most goals and conceded the least goals in the championship,” he rebutted today.

While there are no arguing with those facts, the feeling is that a team containing talents such as João Moutinho, James Rodríguez and Hulk - probably the three most valuable players in Portugal at this point in time - should be producing far more convincing displays and results.

Should Conceição pile more agony on Pereira with a point or three on Saturday, he may even join an array of former Porto players now plying their trade as managers that will go into the dossier of the all-powerful Porto president Pinto da Costa as a candidate to replace the current occupant of the dugout at the Dragão come the close season.

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