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Portugal Must Tire Out Slovenia in Euros Last 16, Says Fernandes

Portugal vs Slovenia Euro 2024

Frankfurt, Germany: Portugal playmaker Bruno Fernandes emphasized the importance of wearing down Slovenia in their Euro 2024 last 16 match on Monday.

The Manchester United midfielder admitted frustration when playing against defensive teams but promised to find solutions against the tournament newcomers in their second Euros appearance.

Slovenia, who secured a goalless draw against England to progress from Group C, will present a challenge for Portugal, who struggled against a defensive Czech Republic in their opener. Fernandes highlighted the necessity of patience in these situations.

“Facing low blocks can be tough because there’s no space between the lines,” Fernandes explained in a Sunday news conference. “I was frustrated against the Czechs; we had to use the wings, and our goals came from crosses. Tomorrow, we need to tire them out. Keeping possession brings us closer to scoring.”

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Fernandes scored in the 3-0 victory over Turkey, Portugal’s best performance so far, but they faced a setback with a 2-0 loss to Georgia.

Earlier, veteran defender Pepe urged the team to stay focused for the Slovenia clash, marking their first knock-out stage appearance in a major tournament.

“We respect Pepe’s experience and advice,” Fernandes said. “He is always honest and assertive. Our recent defeat highlighted areas for improvement, and we’re working on them. Tomorrow, we need to show our progress.”

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