Portugal duo admit concerns
Tiago and Ricardo Carvalho have admitted there is a 'dark cloud' hanging over Portugal's Euro 2012 campaign.
Last Updated: 08/09/10 10:59pm
Tiago and Ricardo Carvalho have admitted there is a 'dark cloud' hanging over Portugal's Euro 2012 qualification campaign.
Preparations for the first set of competitive fixtures since the World Cup were disrupted when manager Carlos Queiroz was suspended for six months.
Queiroz has been punished for allegedly insulting anti-doping officials when they turned up to conduct tests at a training camp earlier in the summer.
He plans to appeal the ban but his absence left Agostinho Oliveira in charge of team affairs for last Friday's 4-4 draw against Cyprus and the 1-0 defeat to Norway on Tuesday.
Having collected just one point from their opening two fixtures, Portugal are already facing an uphill climb to make it through to the next major tournament in Poland and Ukraine.
Midfielder Tiago admits the situation surrounding Queiroz has unsettled the players and may have affected their performance.
"On the pitch we try to concentrate, but sometimes this dark cloud affects us," he said.
"The soap opera has to be resolved. It's not just the fans who want it settled, the whole of Portugal wants it."
Defender Carvalho is also concerned by matters away from the field but has called on his team-mates to stay focused and get their campaign back on track.
"Things are not going well on and off the pitch. We have to turn it around and start collecting points," urged Carvalho.
Oliveira also accepts that Portugal will now find it difficult to qualify automatically from a group containing only five teams.
He said: "It is a small group, just eight games and it is now a problematic situation.
"Norway have two wins and that is very important as they are theoretically the outsiders with Portugal and Denmark favourites."