Queiroz determind to get Portugal back on track

October 14, 2008

Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz is confident his team can get their World Cup qualifying campaign back on track, starting against Albania on Wednesday.

Queiroz's men have four points from their opening three fixtures in Group One, and lost their previous home game to Denmark 3-2.

That was followed by a frustrating 0-0 draw against Sweden at the weekend, but Queiroz is hopeful his team will turn things around.

He said: "For one reason or another, the national team hasn't quite reached it's full potential.

"But I have no doubt we will qualify. With the players we have, obviously it's possible."

A slip-up against Albania would be a major shock. Portugal have won on all three previous meetings and the visitors are likely to be without key striker Hamdih Salihi.

If Portugal win it could be enough to take them to the top of the group - depending on the score between Hungary and Malta - with Denmark and Sweden not in action on Wednesday.

Manchester United winger Nani is aware Portugal will need to throw all they have at the Albanians.

"It's going to be a difficult game, but we'll be at home, in front of our fans," he said.

"The right conditions are there for us to play on the attack and score goals. We want to show our style of football.

"We have players who can unlock defences, with the ability to make a difference. They are the ones who should fear us."

Portugal have scored just twice since putting four past Malta in the opening group game but the return of Cristiano Ronaldo has been a boost for Queiroz, who expects his captain to lead by example.

Albania will provide a stern test though having already held Sweden at home and are level on points with Portugal in the group table.

Queiroz is missing Maniche, Deco, Ricardo Carvalho and Simao Sabrosa from the squad due to injury.

Hungary face Malta in Wednesday's other game in Group One and also have a chance to go top after getting their qualifying campaign off the ground with victory over Albania last Saturday.

Malta are yet to score a goal in the competition having lost all three of their matches so far.