Sergio Conceicao said Porto captain Hector Herrera gives him “total confidence” after he scored in a 4-1 win over Lokomotiv Moscow.
Porto coach Sergio Conceicao vowed to finish the job and qualify his side for the Champions League knockout stage after his captain Hector Herrera inspired a 4-1 win over Lokomotiv Moscow.
Mexico international Herrera scored inside 90 seconds at Estadio do Dragao to set Porto on course for a deserved victory, and he provided a superb assist for Moussa Marega to make it 2-0 before Jesus Corona and Otavio added further goals.
Conceicao described how Herrera’s involvement in the game had been in doubt due to an injury he picked up in Porto’s 3-1 win over Lokomotiv in Moscow two weeks earlier.
Conceicao confirmed that doubts over Herrera’s fitness were real but said the midfielder’s selection helped to add physicality to his side in a game played in torrential rain.
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“In Russia, he had a little sprain and has not trained. He has been treated and it has been difficult.
“Three days ago we played a difficult game with a trip in the middle. Now, and also because of the weather conditions, this physical impact was important and I chose Herrera, who gives me total confidence.”
The result left Porto on 10 points at the top of Group D after four Champions League games, two points clear of their next opponents in the competition, Schalke.
A draw would be enough to clinch qualification to the knockout stage, but Conceicao said his players would be out to win.
“We are going to fight for three points with Schalke, which will confirm our passage to the round of 16,” he said.
“We have to be alert. We are in a good position but now we have to rest and think about the game with Sporting Braga on Saturday, which will be very difficult for us.”
Lokomotiv striker Eder, who previously played for Porto’s upcoming league opponents Braga, thanked supporters for the ovation he received on his return to the country he represents at international level.
The 30-year-old scored Portugal’s winning goal in the final of Euro 2016 and was warmly received by Porto’s fans.
“It was very good to return to Portugal and receive applause here,” Eder told reporters.
“I appreciate the affection, I am very pleased.”