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Thiago Silva: Fred doesn't need goals to prove his worth

The Brazil captain believes the centre-forward does plenty of work for the team and should not be under the spotlight for his performances of late

By Stefan Coerts in Brasilia

Thiago Silva insists that Fred remains an important part of the Brazil team despite his lack of goals so far in the World Cup.

The scoreless draw against Mexico in Group A on Wednesday provoked many to ask whether the Corinthians striker might find his place under threat following a goalless display in the 3-1 opening win against Croatia.

But the Selecao captain says there are more positives to be drawn from Fred’s game than just goals.

“Fred continues to be an important player for us. He doesn’t have to score goals to prove his worth,” Thiago Silva told reporters on Sunday ahead of Brazil’s final group fixture against Cameroon.

“He is here to support the team and it’s great if he creates space for other players. He is really focused. There was a lot of pressure on him during the Confederations Cup as well.

“As a striker, he always wants to score. If he does score tomorrow, it will be great for him, but he can also be important without scoring.”

A draw against Cameroon would send Brazil through to the knockout stages, with a win needed to ensure they progress as group winners. And Thiago Silva says that the style of their play is not important, the result is all that matters.

“We’re going out there to win. It’s not really important whether we play beautiful football. It will be good if we play attacking football and score a lot of goals. But the main objective is to win,” he insisted.

“We want to show that we’re a cohesive squad and are united team. We have had some difficulties, but that’s normal. We want to show that we’re committed. We have all the respect for Cameroon, but we need a great game in order to reach the next round.”

The clash with the Indomitable Lions takes place at the Estadio Mane Garrincha in Brasilia, and the Paris Saint-Germain defender is sure his side will get a great reaction from the local crowd despite their setback against Mexico.

“We’re always warmly welcomed wherever we go. This affection is a wonderful thing. It brings the players and the fans together. The atmosphere will be the same in Brasilia.

“Sometimes the fans are not happy, but the players are also disappointed. I wasn’t happy after the first game, but we did evolve in the second game, even though we didn’t score.

“So for the fans, it seemed like a negative result, but we were pleased because we improved on our first game. Plus Mexico put in a strong performance as well.

“We want to reach the next stage and progress, but sometimes people don’t understand how hard it can be.

Kick-off between Brazil and Cameroon is at 22:00CET, at the same time as Mexico and Croatia face off in Recife in the other Group A fixture.

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