Negativity around Portugal is a sign of fans' heightened expectations, says Fernandes

football11 June 2024 06:50| © Reuters

Bruno Fernandes said the criticism that followed Portugal's 2-1 defeat by Croatia at the weekend was a reflection of fans' elevated expectations ahead of Euro 2024.

Portugal won all 10 of their qualifiers but their preparations for the June 14 to July 14 tournament in Germany have been far from perfect with losses to Slovenia and Croatia in recent friendlies.

"I don't want anyone to think that we came to this point thinking that everything was done and there was nothing to improve," midfielder Fernandes told reporters on Monday.

"There are always aspects to improve. To be honest, I like a bit of this negativity around the national team, 'the team isn't as good anymore', 'it's still not what we want'.

"I like it because it's a sign that people expect a lot from us and want more from the national team. It means that we players who are representing the country have the quality to do more. We know that, we have ambition and we want to do more and better."

Portugal play Ireland in their final warm-up match later on Tuesday. They are in Euro 2024 Group F and begin their campaign against the Czech Republic, before taking on Turkey and Georgia.