MEXICO CITY -- For Jamaica's visit to the Estadio Azteca on Feb. 6, Mexican national team manager Jose Manuel de la Torre called on the more than 100,000 fans expected to file into the stadium in order to heighten his team's chances of winning.
"We have the weight of the Estadio Azteca [as an advantage], the people, the altitude, "Chepo pointed out in his pre-match press conference at the CAR in Mexico City. "But above all, the good football that we've been playing,"The manager was quick to shoot down any suggestion that Jamaica was a lesser opponent for El Tri. "We're not playing [the Hexagonal] by ourselves. We have opponents. Jamaica was tough on the United States and they beat Guatemala," said De La Torre. Against the Reggae Boyz, Mexico will have an opportunity to open up the final round of qualifying with a win that would ease them into their first visit abroad.
Despite winning out in the third round of CONCACAF qualifying, a section of the press and fans have been vocal about the lack of offensive punch. Chepo pointed out that while scoring often is important, his main objective is to reach Brazil 2014. "The objective is to make the World Cup, we don't care about where we are, we have to win every match, even though sometimes that's just not possible," he said. "You can't always be spectacular," he continued.
Against Jamaica, the former Chivas and Toluca manager said he expects "height, strength, speed, tactical order and skillful players" to be his opponent's calling cards. However, Chepo mentioned that Jamaica has noticeable weaknesses that his side will be keen to take advantage of.
Finally, when asked about the possible starting lineup, or whether he would play with a one-striker set or two forwards up front, the Mexican national team manager was blunt.
"The players are the first to know what the starting lineup is, and then everyone else does. We play with 11 offensive players and 11 defensive players," he concluded.