Portugal boss Fernando Santos wary of passionate Scottish support and the atmosphere at Hampden Park ahead of friendly
- Portugal face Scotland on Sunday, and Fernando Santos is wary of the support
- Santos has lost twice on Scottish soil before, and knows all about the passion
- Scotland are looking to get back on track after losing to Israel on Thursday
Portugal head coach Fernando Santos has warned his players that Scottish passion can pose them a problem at Hampden.
Santos has twice suffered defeats on Scottish soil and is expecting a difficult encounter in Sunday’s friendly.
The 54-year-old managed AEK Athens when they squandered a 2-0 first-leg lead at Easter Road in a 2001 UEFA Cup match before edging through after extra-time despite a 3-2 defeat by a Hibernian side managed by current Scotland boss Alex McLeish.
Portugal manager Fernando Santos has warned his players of the intense Scottish passion
Alex McLeish is keen to prove the doubters wrong and get Scotland back on track this week
Fernando Santos is well aware of Scottish support, having lost matches in the country twice
And his Benfica team were on the end of a 3-0 Champions League defeat by Celtic in 2006 when Kenny Miller netted twice at Parkhead.
Portugal moved five points clear in their Nations League group (A3) on Thursday when they won 3-2 in Poland without star player Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been rested as he fights to clear his name following allegations that he raped a woman in Las Vegas in 2009, claims he strongly denies.
Scotland lost 2-1 in Israel on the same night to leave group C1 wide open, while Hampden is expected to be less than half full, but Santos is wary of McLeish’s men and the home support.
‘It’s a very tough game, Scotland are a strong opponent,’ he said. ‘We have seen them playing 4-3-3 and 3-5-2 and set-ups we don’t usually play ourselves. They break away very well so we have to prepare for that.
Scotland players looked dejected at full time after losing in the Nations League against Israel
‘They have a really strong support, which is important for them.
‘I know very well the passion of the Scottish game. I was here playing against Celtic in 2006 and Hibernian in 2001 and the passion around these games led the players to bring the best out of themselves. Scots are very passionate about football, I’m very well aware of that.’
Santos allowed Besiktas defender Pepe and Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva to leave the squad following the victory in Chorzow, but he insists he is not taking the game lightly.
‘There are no friendly games, just games that score points and games that score no points,’ he said. ‘We want to win.’