Ligue 1

Cardoso raises his voice after the defeat

Coach Miguel Cardoso during the match against Stade Tunisien at the Hédi Ennifer stadium. (Photo Taraji+)
Coach Miguel Cardoso during the match against Stade Tunisien at the Hédi Ennifer stadium. (Photo Taraji+)


A stern speech and a clear message: Portuguese coach Miguel Cardoso did not mince his words after Espérance de Tunis' surprise defeat to Stade Tunisien in yesterday's league match.

"It was not an easy game. We all knew that. The Tunisian championship playoffs are always fierce duels, and yesterday's was no exception. The stifling heat and the dryness of the pitch did not help matters, making the playing conditions even more difficult."

Despite these difficulties, Espérance had their chances. Their attackers had several clear-cut chances, but none were converted. "We missed our opportunities, and in football, you pay cash for that," admitted Cardoso. "We don't deserve this harsh result, but that's football. Now we have to move on and look ahead."

For the Portuguese coach, this defeat should not be blamed on one man alone. "It's not the coach's defeat," he insisted. "Football is a team sport, so it's the defeat of all of us. Players, staff, directors, supporters... We are all responsible for this result."

Cardoso also spoke of a change in atmosphere at the club since the historic qualification for the Champions League final and the Club World Cup. "I've seen things change this week," he said. "The atmosphere around us has changed a lot. It's important to stay focused on our goals and not get distracted."

And the first goal is, of course, the Tunisian championship title. "To be clear, it is essential for me, for the players and for the club to win the championship," Cardoso hammered home. "And I want this to be a goal shared by everyone around us."

The coach also took the opportunity to remind his players of the importance of respect, towards their opponents but above all towards the club, its identity and its supporters. "We must respect other teams, but above all respect our club, our identity and our supporters," he insisted. "We must not lose our champion's attitude that has made us progress and reach where we are today, otherwise things will go badly. That's the message I gave to the players."

The message is clear: Espérance de Tunis do not intend to let this defeat get them down. And the objective is clear: to win the championship first. And to achieve this, everyone - players, staff, management and supporters - will have to remobilize and show exemplary solidarity.