Victor Manuel Vucetich was officially named as the new Mexico coach on Thursday, replacing interim manager Luis Fernando Tena and becoming the third El Tri manager in the last five days.
With Mexico struggling through World Cup qualifying, Vucetich was quick to point out the size of the task he has taken on.
“This is the biggest challenge of my career, without doubt,” Vucetich, the former Monterrey coach who won the last three CONCACAF Champions League titles, declared in a press conference in Mexico City.
The 58-year-old Vucetich has been handed a short-term contract that gives no guarantees he will be in charge should El Tri qualify for the World Cup, and he begins his reign on Oct. 11 in the Estadio Azteca against Panama. Vucetich takes over Mexico with the team currently in fifth position in the CONCACAF hexagonal stage of World Cup qualifying, with just two games remaining and El Tri currently one place off reaching a potential playoff against New Zealand for a berth in Brazil.
Vucetich will bring in his own back room staff in a clean sweep from Jose Manuel de la Torre and emphasized the mental aspect of getting El Tri’s players firing after losing to both Honduras and the United States over the past week.
“The psychological aspect definitely needs to be worked on, that is vital,” Vucetich said. “There's (been) a certain fear to take risks. We have to take the necessary steps to break those (psychological) problems.”
The new manager gave little away regarding potential call-ups for in-form Europe-based duo Carlos Vela and Guillermo Ochoa, but implied that he would be contacting them to find out their readiness to rejoin the national team. Vucetich also revealed he turned down the chance to become Mexico manager in 2010 due to personal reasons regarding his family.