Tabarez insists Uruguay are not 'falling to pieces' despite Venezuela draw

The coach lamented what he saw as a lack of preparation which led to two dropped points against the Vinotinto, but was adamant that fatigue and tiredness did not play a part
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez has rejected the notion that a lack of fitness caused his team to concede a late equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Venezuela.

The Copa America holders led for a large part of Saturday's World Cup qualifier in Montevideo thanks to Diego Forlan's strike, but had to settle for a share of the spoils when Diego Godin turned past his own keeper under pressure at a cross from Salomon Rondon.

After the game there was a lot of speculation that fatigue from the long European season contributed to their surprise dip in concentration levels, but Tabarez used data only compiled across the 90 minutes to dismiss that particular theory.

"The other day we didn't get the result and we have taken away certain lessons since the situation could happen again," Tabarez told reporters at a press conference.

"We have to be better prepared; not just conceptually, but also through training in the week to prepare possible alternatives that we can use during the match.

"We have shared scientific data with the footballers that goes against what we felt about the game and what a lot of people had commented on, like the team getting tired, that we were exhausted.

"The data we have does not say that. They say Uruguay were not dead, we were not falling to pieces, the players do not have to go to bed at five in the afternoon.

"In just one period of the game, from the 60th to the 75th minute, did [Venezuela] beat us in terms of intensity. We committed a grave error in not being well-positioned and we paid dearly for it."

Moving on to Sunday's meeting with the Peruvian team, against whom Colombia triumphed 1-0 at the weekend thanks to a goal from James Rodriguez, Tabarez admitted that he had still not decided whether his team requires any adjusting.

"I will take my time, I will try and bring back a bit of confidence to the team and the players first. It hasn't gone too badly for us, I don't think," the trainer concluded.

The Celeste have gone over 12 months without tasting defeat at senior level, with an unbeaten run that stretches to 16 official and friendly encounters, but they have now slipped behind Chile and Argentina to third in the Conmebol standings, albeit with a game in hand over both their rivals.