Diego Godin says the Uruguay national should be given more respect by their supporters following tournament success.
Uruguay have failed to win any of their last four qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, and have dropped to fifth in the standings, prompting criticism from fans.
Godin, who was part of the side that finished fourth at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and lifted the Copa America a year later, has insisted the team’s achievements should not be forgotten.
“Inside the camp we’re keeping calm, but when criticism comes your way it does bother you how short people’s memories are,” the former Villarreal man told the FIFA website.
“You can’t just forget everything that we’ve achieved because of what’s happened in the past couple of months.”
Godin then took his time to defend captain Diego Lugano and star striker Diego Forlan, who have come under heavy criticism recently.
“In Lugano’s case, a lot of the talk is because he’s not getting games for his club. As for Forlan, we’re so used to such high standards from him that, having not scored in our last few games, things have also turned a bit ugly,” he said.
“Criticism is normal and so is talk about generational overhauls, but El Maestro (coach Oscar) Tabarez has made it abundantly clear how he views the national squad and the new blood that he’s already brought in.”
Godin has attributed Uruguay’s struggles to their lack of organisation and discipline, two traits he believes have been essential in previous successes.
“One of our strengths in the last few years, which have included a spectacular World Cup, winning the Copa America and making a strong start to this (Brazil 2014) qualifying phase, had been order and tactical discipline,” he said.
“And we’ve noticed that this discipline has unravelled when we’ve had to chase games. That’s led to us losing matches and losing them heavily.
“We want to be at this World Cup – we don’t care about anything else.”