Lviv: Portugal coach Paulo Bento has acknowledged that his side is under intense pressure ahead of its Euro 2012 contest against Denmark.
The Seleccao head into the match against Morten Olsen's side looking for their first point in Poland and Ukraine after kicking off their campaign with a 1-0 defeat against Germany last week.
Portugal suffered a 2-1 defeat to Denmark in the last match between the two sides in October, but Bento believes Wednesday’s game will be very even. "I think there is no favourite for tomorrow," he told reporters at a press conference. "Two teams eye-to-eye with each other.
The 42-year-old coach acknowledged that Portugal are in a must-win situation and stressed that his side and their opponents both have the qualities to win.
"These two teams are very equal in terms of chances in their last games. Teams with ambition, the same goal desire to advance in this tournament. Of course the result of the first match could make Denmark appear in an advantage. But we will give 100 per cent. We know that we already succeeded once, and that we can succeed again.
"We have more pressure than we did against Germany, but this is not the first time that the players have been in this situation, and anyone who plays football must be ready to win in these situations. We must not lose the will to win."
Helder Postiga has come under fire after turning in a disappointing performance against Germany, but Bento guaranteed that he has not lost faith in the Zaragoza man. "I liked my team's display against Germany," he explained. "After watching the game again, I still have that idea. We did enough to secure a completely different result. To close this discussion, tomorrow's striker will be Helder.”
Focusing on the defeat more generally, Bento was adamant that his players did not deserve to lose, calling German “luckier”.
But, he did admit that Portugal were not assertive enough in the first half and ended up ruing their profligacy. “We lost the first game against one of the favourites for the title. We lost even though we played very well.
"I think it was unfair because we did not deserve to lose. A draw against Germany was not our aim - we were trying to win the game. We had a certain period in the game that we were playing well and we deserved a goal.
"Then at a certain point they were luckier, but what was missing from us in the first part of the game would be a greater capacity in the last third of the pitch to pressure them. There was a lack of counter-attacking opportunities so we could have more time with the ball.
"The strategy that we've been preparing for in the last three weeks was to be strong in all ways, not just on the counter-attack, but to always play to our strengths."