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Live from Sydney: Jeonbuk coach Morais on troubled prep - 's**t happens'

Jose Morais insists Jeonbuk Motors can overcome their interrupted preparations for Wednesday's AFC Champions League clash with Sydney FC.

The K-League giants have not played a match since since losing to Yokohama F-Marinos on December 12, with the first two rounds of the K-League season cancelled due to the recent coronavirus outbreak.

The AFC have also cancelled six other Champions League fixtures, which almost included Wednesday night's meeting at the Jubilee Stadium in southern Sydney.

While Morais says the uncertainty surrounding the fixture made it hard for his team to focus, the former Chelsea and Inter Milan assistant remains confident his side are ready for action.

"Preparations have been interesting and different," the Portuguese told reporters at Jubilee Stadium. "Different because, as you know guys, we are facing a worldwide problem with the coronavirus.

"There was always doubts about if we were able to play the game or not, so the circumstances of the preparation were doubtable, in terms of the total focus and it required a lot of commitment to stay focused and think this is the scheduled game and we going to play the game, so let's concentrate on what we have to do, until different decisions are made.

"Apart from this, we are prepared. We have a goal to achieve and this is the reason that we are. As a football team we aim for the best and the best is to win. This is the reason we traveled. We respect the opponent because it is a good opponent. We are ready to play."

Jeonbuk are certainly no slouches, having won the last three K-League titles and five out of the last six.

Morais is enjoying his second season in charge of the Green Warriors, having spent time as an assistant to Jose Mourinho in Italy and England, as well as head coaching stints at AEK Athens and Barnsley amongst others.

Given his vast experience in the game, it was perhaps no surprise to see Morais take a philosophical view of his team's predicament, as he cited Liverpool's recent loss to Watford as evidence that anything can happen in football.

"I used to say that there is more reasons behind the reasons. Sometimes s**t happens. And we have to accept that these things happen. But we can also win. And when we don't win, there are reasons and we have to keep working, and working in a good way in order for us to win the next game.

"This is the way I think, this is the way I feel. And I don't dramatise things. There is no drama. I know the capacity we have. We have this quality, we have this capacity. But like everyone else, there is sometimes one moment that you don't perform in the right way, you concede a goal and then you lose the game.

"We saw many examples. The last example we can mention is in a different league, a different continent, but everybody was expecting Liverpool to win the league without defeat, but they just lost against Watford 3-0. It can happen."

Andrew Maclean
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Andrew Maclean

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