LIGA NOS: PORTIMONENSE 0-1 TONDELA
Portimonense are showing no signs of improvement under interim coach Bruno Lopes since the impromptu departure of predecessor António Folha, following up their 2-1 defeat at Belenenses with a toothless 1-0 home loss to Tondela last Saturday afternoon.
The match offered few positives, Lopes clutching at straws with the introduction of Luquinhas who was quickly withdrawn again at the interval. By then, a mix-up between keeper Ricardo Ferreira and defender Lucas Possignolo had gifted the visitors an early lead and there was little in the way of goal mouth action to report thereafter, despite Jackson Martinez joining the fray for the second half.
Still without a win in 2020, the situation is unlikely to get any easier in February with Portimonense facing Sporting in Lisbon on Sunday followed by a resurgent Moreirense (H), Porto (A) and mid-table Vitória de Setubal (H).
To make matters worse, Bruno Lopes’ temporary licence expires after the weekend and none of the present coaching staff is fully qualified to take charge of the team in the top division. Contacts with former José Mourinho assistant Rui Faria, recently released by Qatari club Al-Duhail, should prove fruitless as the 44-year-old’s salary expectations and expressed desire for a rest will make an immediate appointment impossible.
That leaves Portimonense without a manager ahead of a demanding fixture list, now only two points ahead of bottom-placed Aves, and a team devoid of the calibre required for this level.
Influential club directors Theodoro Fonseca and Rodiney Sampaio have cashed in on the best players over the past 18 months without finding suitable replacements, leaving the sub-standard bulk to head back to the Second Division where the present team belongs.
By SKIP BANDELE