Mexico coach Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre heaped praise on Panama ahead of tonight’s clash, stressing the improvements Los Canaleros have made recently.
“They have good players, they are well coached and they understand each other well,” Chepo said in Thursday’s press conference in Panama City. “I think that (the game) will be very complicated, it’s part of the improvement that all of us have experienced in the (CONCACAF) area.”
Mexico heads into the game in first place in the Hexagonal, having played one more game than second-placed Panama. With only one victory in its first four games, though, Mexico has faced some criticism in its domestic press for some lackluster displays.
For Chepo, one of the keys against Panama will be producing a disciplined performance and exploiting any space the home side leaves.
“It’s different when you play away, the opposition tries to open up a little more going for a home victory and that opens up space,” Chepo stated.
The Mexico coach added that maintaining discipline and structure throughout the team is part and parcel of his soccer philosophy and that it won’t be changing following suggestions that Mexico should perhaps take more risks.
“Those that know me know my principle virtue is order,” he said. “Some don’t like it, but it’s part of my education.”