Victor Manuel Vucetich will make his debut as Mexico coach against Panama on Friday in “the most important game” of his life.
Vucetich admitted in the pregame press conference on Thursday that he sees himself leading El Tri to Brazil 2014 and, with Mexico’s World Cup qualification hanging in the balance, is expecting his side to go all out from the first whistle against the Central Americans in Estadio Azteca.
“This (game) is about winning, not seeing what happens, our intention is to go out to win,” said Vucetich in Mexico City. “We have to be aggressive, without being crazy. Soccer is played with balance.”
The phrase says a lot about Vucetich’s outlook on the game, but the former Monterrey coach was giving little else away about how he plans to line up.
El Tri’s manager would not even be drawn on which three players will be cut from Mexico’s 26-man squad, although he did indicate that the decision has been made.
As for whether Rafa Marquez will once again lead Mexico out as captain of the side, Vucetich was also vague.
“It has not been defined,” he said. “It is something that we have to talk about with the group.”
The coach also hit back at his Panamanian counterpart, saying that Julio Cesar Dely Valdes showed a “lack of respect” for suggesting earlier in the week that Mexico should play the Argentine national anthem in place of the Mexican one due to the recent inclusion of Argentina-born players into El Tri’s squad.
Mexico would overtake Panama with three points on Friday, but any other result would take World Cup qualification out of its hands.