Mexico manager Javier Aguirre said his team's final two World Cup qualifiers are life-and-death situations, and the team would treat them as such.
“These 180 minutes will be played to the death and if we are capable of getting the three points mathematically we are in the World Cup. We think of playing a good game of being very serious and concentrated without caring if we are hosts or visitors without worrying who the next rival will be,” Aguirre told reporters ahead of Mexico’s Hexagonal match against El Salvador.
“We have not had a break since that afternoon at the Cuscatlan (stadium) when our situation was complicated even more. If you look at our qualifying campaign we have been living by the day, and these past four games we have surpassed them by the limit, there was no tomorrow, not even on Saturday. We needed to win, we had talked about 18 points which historically would have been enough, we have 15 so we are not there yet. We need three more points. How? Any way possible. Hopefully we can do that by playing good and pleasing the crowd with a spectacle."
When asked what difference he had seen in the national team since his first match, against El Salvador, Aguirre commented on the team’s change in personality.
“I get the sensation that in the anemic aspect there has been an evolution, there has been an improvement, of a team that showed up to play that day with desire but I felt a rare ambience, low self-esteem from the players, low credibility in the group, much pessimism in the surroundings. And now I see a more capable surrounding and executives that believe in the team and fans that believe in the national team and the possibility that they will be in the World Cup and a media that is in accordance with what has been going on."
“In the football aspect it is difficult to say because we only train three days and then we play, an evolution is difficult, that is why I have always said and sustain that the ideal project would be for a coach that works from one World Cup to the next because in six months, two months, three months, it is very difficult, you are just looking to cover holes and looking for your common sense, which is the least of your common senses, to do what you believe is the best for the team, to win the next match, and you prioritize the result over the way the team plays which is something that in four years should be possible to do”.
Aguirre was also asked if the return of Rafael Marquez would present a problem now that Ricardo Osorio and Jonny Magallon have taken command of the central defense.
However, el Vasco welcomed the “problem” as something every coach wants.
“Those are the type of problems that all of the coaches want; to have two or three possibilities in the same position of capable players, quality players, players that give you security in the field."
Regarding finishing in first place of the Hexagonal to improve the Tricolor’s FIFA rankings el Vasco gave more importance to the team’s display in the field.
“I am not sure if that will help with the FIFA rankings. All I know is that before the first match against El Salvador we were ranked 33rd and now we are 24th after defeating the Americans. If being in first place helps then that is good but we are interested in playing good football and if that is enough to be in first place then that is even better,” concluded Aguirre.
Joel Aceves, Goal.com
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