Juan Carlos Osorio is emphasising the need to respect all opponents as he takes charge of Mexico for the first time in their opening World Cup 2018 qualifier against El Salvador.
The Colombian took over from interim coach Ricardo Ferretti, who secured the nation’s place at the 2017 Confederations Cup with victory over United States in the CONCACAF play-off last month.
Osorio’s first stint in international management comes following a short spell at Sao Paulo, and he is keen to ensure there is no complacency in Mexico’s ranks ahead as they attempt to progress from a group that also includes Canada and Honduras.
The 54-year-old is encouraging his players to be respectful of all teams, starting against El Salvador – who they have beaten in each of their last four meetings – at the Estadio Azteca on Friday before travelling to face Honduras on Tuesday.
“[My aim is] to win and hopefully leave a good impression, to play well and make all of you [the media], and the Mexican fans, happy with the team,” Osorio said.
“They are two completely different games, there will be changes.
“We have tried to tailor ourselves to the task, analyse player by player.
“It has been difficult to assess El Salvador, but the group know that we have to show high levels of commitment.
“Football is unpredictable, but the commitment and respect will not go missing and the guys accept that.”
Javier Hernandez has scored eight goals in his last six outings in all competitions for Bayer Leverkusen, and Osorio suggested that he could employ a change of formation given the form of the attacking options available to him.
“We normally play with one attacker, but with the great form of Raul Jimenez, Oribe Peralta and Javier Hernandez, we are considering playing with two number nines,” he said.
The Colombian’s confidence in his attack is further evidence by his decision not to call up a replacement for Carlos Esquivel, who pulled out of the squad with a thigh injury.
Giovani Dos Santos was not included in the squad, while veteran Rafael Marquez has not been selected due to injury.
El Salvador will travel to Mexico City on Thursday, and Henry Romero is expected to be fit to feature if required despite bruising his ankle in training.
Nelson Bonilla’s arrival was delayed due to travel issues, but Ramon Maradiaga now has a full squad available to him which he believes is capable of frustrating Mexico.
“We will prepare hoping to reduce all possibilities of their play,” he said to Fox Sports.
“We know every one of the virtues of the Mexican players and in that aspect we are prepared.”
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!