Fernando Santos still fine-tuning Portugal squad


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Portugal boss Fernando Santos admits his side are from the finished article but is hopeful they will improve as the World Cup develops.

The European champions have been drawn in Group B for the finals and they will take on fellow heavyweights Spain in their opening match on June 15 ahead of further games against Morocco and Iran.

A Selecao rounded off their preparations for the finals with a routine 3-0 victory over Algeria in Lisbon on Thursday.

But Santos insists they are yet to hit top gear and hopes they can improve during their time in Russia.

“We are still far from ideal, it is with the championship that we will grow,” Santos said.

“There are some things to fine-tune, there are players who are playing for the first time together in this selection.”

A brace from Goncalo Guedes and a further strike from Bruno Fernandes handed Portugal the victory over Algeria, as a number of players attempted to stake their claim for a starting spot.

Santos confirmed the picture is becoming clearer regarding who will start against Spain but he has further underlined that the tournament will be about the entire squad, and not just who he selects in his starting line-up.

The 63-year-old added: “Obviously we are getting closer to the starting XI but the most important thing is to feel that I have 23 players prepared to compete.”

Portugal, who have never made it beyond the semi-finals of a World Cup, are priced at 26.00 to win the tournament this summer.

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