With key players Jackson Martinez and Shoya Nakajima back in training in Portimão, manager António Folha is hoping to have his team ready to secure a first victory of the season against Vitória de Guimarães this Sunday evening.
While Nakajima should be match fit following his impressive performance for the Japanese national side last week, Jackson saw action on a football pitch for the first time since his two-year injury lay-off when enjoying a 15-minute run-out during last Saturday’s 2-0 training match win over second division Farense.
“I felt like a boy coming on for his first game,” the Columbian said afterwards. “Step by step, with hard work, persistence and discipline things will improve.”
Jackson also denied that his current one-season loan spell in the Algarve is merely a stepping stone on the way back to better things, stating that here is the place he wants to be.
In the short term, however, another transfer deadline signing, João Carlos, can provide the answer to Portimonense’s goal drought. Having previously opened his account against the club’s U23 side, the young Brazilian added a hat-trick during a subsequent 5-1 friendly win over third tier Louletano last Wednesday which also saw Matheus and Paulinho grace the score sheet. He further strengthened his claims for a place in the starting eleven this Sunday when setting up Ruben’s easy follow-up opener against Farense (see above) and should prove to be a significant re-enforcement over the coming months.
By SKIP BANDELE
Photo: Brazilian João Carlos may provide the answer to Portimonense’s goal drought