'I'd be a traitor' - Tuca's loyalty to Tigres keeping him from accepting Mexico job

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The manager said he would chat with the federation were he to lose his current job, but for now will stay on only as the interim

Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti conducted a training session with Mexico on Monday and then gave a news conference decked out in Mexico gear, but said after that nothing has changed.

His time leading El Tri is on a strictly interim basis.

The Tigres coach will lead the national team for the rest of the year while the search for a replacement for Juan Carlos Osorio continues. Many decision-makers in Mexican football hope this interim stint will convince the 64-year-old to accept the job on a long-term basis.

But this week Ferretti reiterated the same thing he's said for months now - that he has no interest in taking the job on a long-term basis. He did, however, shed light on his motivation, saying he has too much respect for the institution to leave a club like Tigres that has stuck with him for so long and signed him to a three-year extension prior to this season.

"Anyone would want to be in my place right now and go through this cycle [with the national team], but at the same time maybe they don't have what I have at a club like Tigres. Honestly, I sincerely think I'd be a traitor, stabbing them after all these years at this club that has supported me so much," Ferretti said. "With the next three years I'll have 11 years as the manager of a club. Do you remember this ever happening in Mexican football? So, this loyalty between us, this commitment, is really important."

Ferretti plans to stay loyal to Tigres, where he has won three league titles and a Copa MX, but said if the club decided his time there was up then he would consider chatting with the Mexican federation about working with the national team.

"If Tigres tells me goodbye and the federation thinks I can be a useful element, maybe we'd sit down to chat, but that's the only reason if I didn't have a contract or a job with Tigres," he said.

The interim tag shouldn't be any indication of his commitment to Mexico, Ferretti said. The manager is ready to use friendlies against Uruguay on Friday and the U.S. on Sept. 11, plus two more in October and another pair in November, to help bring through the next generation of Mexican talent.

"I'm coming to do my job 100 percent. This is a very talented group, a young group with a great future and it can be utilized in the short, medium or long term," Ferretti said. "I hope they show that I'm not mistaken - that they prepare well, play against anyone and show they have the skills both individually and collectively."

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It's a roster that includes only five players based in Europe with plenty of big stars staying with their clubs for various reasons. West Ham United forward Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, Real Betis midfielder Andres Guardado, Villarreal defender Andres Guardado and Porto midfielder Hector Herrera are among the players who took part in the 2018 World Cup who are not on this roster.

"They're great players and they're always going to be welcome, depending on the need they can be taken into mind or not. We already know them really well," Ferretti said of experienced players before speaking about his current group. "I have no doubt that this team will do really well. I love that it's a tough opponent. They've got the chance to face the best and with this experience they'll be much better in the future.

"Don't think about the result, but rather how these guys grow. If we don't give them the chance, we're stunting their growth. They're the future of the national team, and you have to give them chances. If you're talking about them all week, all day, they deserve to play these games. I'm open to running the risk of being criticized, but I have a lot of confidence in these guys."

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