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Mexico v Costa Rica: Herrera braced for Gold Cup

The pressure is on Miguel Herrera to deliver the CONCACAF Gold Cup to Mexico, but the coach stressed his team are taking things one game at a time.

Herrera is facing an uncertain future if Mexico do not win next month’s Gold Cup in the United States and Canada, following the nation’s swift exit from the Copa America.

Invitees Mexico were eliminated in the group stage of the competition last week, as Herrera prioritised CONCACAF’s premier event.

There are no excuses for Herrera, who welcomes back stars Javier Hernandez, Giovani and Jonathan Dos Santos, Andres Guardado, Carlos Vela, Hector Herrera and Guillermo Ochoa, having rested the group in readiness for the Gold Cup, where Mexico will face Cuba, Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago in Group C.

But as Mexico prepare to step up their preparations with a friendly against Costa Rica in Orlando on Saturday, Herrera said the North Americans are not looking too far ahead.

“Obviously our thinking is to win the Gold Cup, but we are currently thinking about Cuba, and before, in Costa Rica and Honduras,” Herrera told reporters.

“For these warm-up matches, it will help us to see what we need, where we have to work harder, do more emphasis to get the best for the first game that is Cuba.”

Mexico – winless in five matches – are set to play in front of over 45,000 fans at the Florida Citrus Bowl.

“What matters most is that the operation of the team,” Herrera added. “We will take the idea of ​​what we have done, and if we do things right, we will surely have a good game.”

Costa Rica will be at full strength for the friendly in the United States, with coach Paulo Wanchope able to call upon a host of stars.

Alvaro Saborio, Michael Umana, Bryan Ruiz, Joel Campbell, Celso Borges, Cristian Gamboa, Jose Miguel Cubero and Junior Diaz are all available for the Costa Ricans.

Costa Rica – drawn in Group B alongside Jamaica, El Salvador and co-hosts Canada – are on a three-match losing streak following defeats to Spain and Colombia in June.

Fri 26 Jun, 2015
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