Brazil head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has insisted his side are on the right path after a 1-1 friendly draw with Russia in London on Monday.
The South Americans needed a last-gasp goal from Fluminense attacker Fred to salvage something against Fabio Capello’s men in their Stamford Bridge clash.
Scolari remains without a win in his second stint as Brazil boss – last week’s Italy draw and February’s defeat to England have been his only other games to date – but he was determined to put on a brave face and look at the positives in recent matches.
He told reporters: “I think that from the game against Italy to this on here we kept the same level, but we were playing against a well-organised team.
“They are one of the 54 (53) European countries trying to qualify for the World Cup. They kept the ball quite well and because of a lot of factors we maybe let that goal in because they marked higher than the Italians and pressed too.
“But what I really liked was that towards the end our team had a good reaction. They didn’t get desperate, they kept their heads and worked the ball and scored the goal.
“We haven’t evolved as much as from the England game to the Italy game, but we are on the right path. Everybody knows there are no shortcuts for success. You need to go in stages.
“We have to go through every stage to reach the final goal. In each stage we try to add some small improvements – someone comes in, someone changes position etc.”
Argentina sit top of CONMEBOL qualification in Brazil’s absence and Scolari praised his nation’s perennial rivals as well as Radamel Falcao’s Colombia, who have been looking sharp in recent games.
“Argentina are always a good team, they have great players,” the former Chelsea boss added.
“Colombia always replacing their players with good ones like James (Rodriguez), (Radamel) Falcao and (Jackson) Martinez coming through – that is why they are doing well.”
Scolari also dismissed suggestions the World Cup 2014 host nation’s supporters have lost faith in the national team, and highlighted the importance of building a strong morale ahead of this summer’s Confederations Cup.
“I believe that we already have the support and the trust of the Brazilian fans,” the coach continued.
“All we need to do is continue to work with the group. For the Confederations Cup we are going to have a strong, compact group.
“The fans can be sure that they will have a very recognisable group that they will be happy with.”
Brazil’s next game is against Chile on April 24.