Sporting coach goes on the defensive

Sporting Lisbon coach Carlos Carvalhal was forced on to the defensive ahead of the Europa League match against Everton on Thursday.

Last Updated: 25/02/10 at 09:59

Carvalhal: Under big pressure

Carvalhal: Under big pressure

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Carvalhal is hoping his side can overturn a 2-1 deficit and progress to the last 16 as a string of indifferent results has put him under pressure.

The 45-year-old was handed a temporary contract until the end of the season after taking over in November when he replaced Paulo Bento who had been at the club since 2005.

Asked if he would considering resigning if Sporting lost, he said: "I am not expecting you to give me flowers.

"Our expectation is success, that has not changed, and our intention is to win this tie.

"This is just another game as far as I am concerned. We want to progress in this competition.

"I am very happy to coach Sporting. I have courage and so have my team. We must not lose our identity."

Former Rangers midfielder Pedro Mendes could play a crucial role after arriving last month.

The 30-year-old feels he is getting back to his best form and is ready to face Everton who will be no strangers to the Portuguese who spent four years in English football.

Mendes said: "Of course the football in Scotland and Portugal is a bit different. Here it is more technical.

"But that was not my main concern when I arrived. My biggest struggle was my fitness.

"I am getting there and enjoying being with a new team and in a new environment.

"This game is an important one for all the players. It is a night to give something back to the supporters."

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Europa League Fixtures

Thursday, 12 March 2015
17:00
Zenit v Torino  
18:00
Club Brugge v Besiktas  
Dnipro v Ajax  
Wolfsburg v Inter  
20:05
Everton v Dynamo Kiev  
Fiorentina v Roma  
Napoli v D Moscow  
Villarreal v Sevilla  
Thursday, 19 March 2015
17:00
D Moscow v Napoli  
18:00
Dynamo Kiev v Everton  

Footer 365

Liverpool's Europa League exit a boost to top-four chances ahead of Manchester City showdown, says Jamie Carragher

Jamie Carragher looks ahead to Liverpool v Manchester City and reckons the Reds might find it easier to bounce back.

Arsenal announce £11m profit and £138.8m cash reserve

Arsenal have returned robust financial results, with turnover increased to £148.5m and an overall profit before tax of £11.1m.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal eyes 'luck'

Louis van Gaal claims the most important factor in Manchester United's pursuit of a top-four place is 'luck'.

Mail Box

Are Tottenham Right To Redevelop?

It's a really good Friday afternoon Mailbox, with thoughts on Spurs' ground development, the Europa league (leave it alone) and one man running for a very good cause...

Rodgers Is More Of A Paisley Than A Rafa

Most Liverpool fans in the Mailbox are claiming to be pleased to see the back of the Europa League. Plus merging the Europa and Champions League, and winter WC...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company