Porto interim coach Castro calls for fans' support

The caretaker hopes supporters get behind the team as they look to recover from a relatively mediocre domestic season and qualify for next season's Champions League

Porto interim coach Luis Castro has called on the club's fans to get behind the team as they look to mount a strong finish to the season.

Castro stepped up from coaching the 'B' side last week after the departure of Paulo Fonseca following a run of four games without a win, and guided the side to a 4-1 home victory over Arouca in his first game in charge on Sunday.

Porto remain nine points adrift of leaders Benfica with eight games to go in the Primeira Liga, and Castro urged supporters to back the team in their final push.

"I'm expecting to go about my job every day with dedication and determination," he told the club's official website.

"I am hoping the work will be followed closely by the fans, as they are essential for development."

Porto went unbeaten last season to claim their 27th domestic title, and they face Sporting Lisbon in a crucial encounter on Sunday that could go a long way to deciding who qualifies automatically for the Champions League next season and who will have to go through the qualifying stages.

However, with such a gap between them and leaders Benfica, their best chance of a trophy this season could be in the Europa League, with Castro's charges set to take on Napoli at home in the first leg of the last-16 tie on Thursday.

With two huge games on the horizon, Castro insisted it was vital his men did not look too far ahead.

"We will count our points in the end; we always look at one game at a time and that is what I try to tell the players," he said.

"We can only play one game and in the end we will see."