It`s win or pack your bags, says Portugal`s Bento
Portugal coach Paulo Bento said Saturday his team can start packing their bags if they don`t beat the United States on Sunday in Manaus.
Portugal were thrashed 4-0 by Germany in their Group G opener and anything other than a win against the US would take qualification for the last 16 out of their hands.
Added to that, their preparation for Sunday`s clash has been far from ideal as injuries and a suspension have shorn Bento of four players, with a fifth, Bruno Alves, a doubt as well.
But Bento wants no excuses.
"Let`s stop talking about the absentees and think about playing," he snapped.
"The situation is very simple: either we win or we start to pack our bags.
"If it`s a draw, it`s the same. That`s not a scenario the Portuguese are used to.
"When you need to react, I think we`re good. I truly believe and the players have to convince themselves too.
"The merit is all theirs. I only have a little. Now they have to fight to improve their credit.
"We need a team that is confident in itself and able to control the different aspects of the match."
As ever, a lot of focus has been on Cristiano Ronaldo in Brazil, particularly seeing as the world player of the year has been carrying an injury and was largely anonymous against Germany.
But Bento says the Real Madrid star is dealing with the pressure.
"When I took the job I said I`d never put the responsibility for solving problems on his (Ronaldo`s) shoulders or those of any other player," said Bento.
"That`s my issue. He`s an important player for the team but I don`t think he`s got any more pressure than before.
"He`s treated normally. We have one of the best players in the world but there are others to support him.
"If we had only the best players in the world, we wouldn`t go very far."
Asked wether or not he had any doubts about his team after their implosion against Germany, Bento replied: "My only doubt is knowing whether or not Bruno will be able to play."