Interim Argentina coach Sergio Batista asserted that his chances of obtaining the job have not been damaged by Friday's defeat at the hands of Japan, and that FA supremo Julio Grondona told him to put the result behind him.
Speaking to reporters on arriving in Argentina this afternoon, 'El Checho' declared that after having talked with Grondona over the weekend, he is certain that the disappointing 1-0 reverse will not weigh too heavily against him.
"I spoke with Julio after the game and he told me to stay calm, that nothing was wrong. If he didn't judge me after the wins against Ireland and Spain, he is not suddenly going to do it now," Batista told reporters at Ezeiza airport.
About his overall chances of staying in the job, the coach would however only state that "we will have to wait."
The narrow defeat was Batista's first since taking over from Diego Maradona on a temporary basis at the end of July. According to the AFA's own schedule for choosing a successor, a Selection Committee is due to be designated by next Thursday - with a final decision expected before the 'Albiceleste' travel to Doha, Qatar to face Brazil on November 17.
As well as 'El Checho', Estudiantes coach Alex Sabella, Racing Club's Miguel Angel Russo and former Boca legend Carlos Bianchi are believed to be in the running.