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, 07 May 2015
20:05
Napoli v Dnipro  
Sevilla v Fiorentina  
Thursday, 14 May 2015
Dnipro v Napoli  
Fiorentina v Sevilla  
Wednesday, 27 May 2015
19:45
Semi-Final 1 Winner v Semi-Final 2 Winner  

Footer 365

Ilkay Gundogan close to Manchester United move

Manchester United are close to agreeing a £21.5m deal to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, according to Sky sources.

Eden Hazard will stay at Chelsea and not move to Real Madrid, says Jose Mourinho

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is not concerned about Real Madrid’s reported interest in Eden Hazard.

Barcelona to face old boss Pep Guardiola's Bayern, Juventus draw Real Madrid in Champions League semi-finals

Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola will return to the Nou Camp to face Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final.

Mail Box

Chelsea Millions Should Buy Better...

For the money they have spent, Chelsea should be playing like the Harlem Globetrotters rather than Atletico. We have mails on Cesc, Brendan Rodgers and...

Brendan Rodgers Is David Cameron...

Rodgers is compared to the Prime Minister, insomuch as he has a right to peddle bulls**t, apparently. Plus why comparing Arsene Wenger to Diego Simeone is a mug's game...

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