Boca Juniors coach Carlos Bianchi has blamed tiredness for his side’s failure to beat Newell’s Old Boys in their Copa Libertadores clash.
Boca failed to capitalise on home advantage in the first leg of the teams’ quarter-final meeting on Thursday, allowing their fellow Argentines to get away with a 0-0 draw.
But Bianchi believes Newell’s had a physical and tactical advantage going into the game at La Bombanera.
“I think in the first half we worked hard to get the ball and match Newell’s Old Boys physically because they are very good at keeping possession,” he said.
“Our players might feel the tiredness impact a little more than our opponents, but I think both teams had their moments in the match. But we definitely played better in the first half and will look to build on that.
“I think the team is slowly gaining confidence and we are trying to play and execute what we prepare in training. It is very difficult to change the fortunes of the team overnight.
“Boca are playing better than at the beginning of the championship in the league and we have played well in the Copa Libertadores all season.”
Bianchi’s opposite number Gerardo Martino later lamented his side’s sloppy passing against Boca, and claimed that Newell’s were lucky to come away with a draw.
“We have been making too many errors. We’ve have been making mistakes when passing the ball out from our own half, we were also been playing poorly when reaching the middle of the pitch,” he said.
“We have lost the ball many times in midfield. I think (Juan Roman) Riquelme played well and was heavily involved in the first half. But our best player today was Diego Mateo. Riquelme didn’t have his usual impact today.
“For the next game we will try to play safe defensively and obviously try to create a goal to win the game. I think that after today’s match, it is very clear that our opponents will not change the way they play, so we won’t change our style of play either.
“Sometimes rivals and opponents play better and force you to play a different game and adopt different tactics, but overall we have to remain solid defensively – that is our main aim. Boca had more opportunities to score today today, but they did not punish us.”
The two sides meet in domestic action on Sunday, while their second-leg clash is two days after that to complete a hectic week for each.