Ricardo Gareca gave nothing away over his future plans as captain Paolo Guerrero urged the popular Peru boss to remain in charge after the World Cup.
Already eliminated following back-to-back losses to France and Denmark, Peru will conclude their campaign with a Group C fixture against Australia in Sochi on Tuesday.
As Peru try to end the World Cup on a high, there is uncertainty over Gareca’s future amid links with Argentina – the place of his birth – with pressure mounting on Jorge Sampaoli.
Asked about what will happen following the match in Sochi, Gareca, who was appointed in 2015, told reporters: “Once this World Cup is over, yes I’ll have to make a decision.
“The whole country wants an answer. The national team wants an answer. I have an excellent relationship with the Peru FA. I understand it’s reasonable that I give a swift response.”
Peru’s all-time leading scorer Guerrero – who wants to continue playing amid uncertainty over his drugs suspension which was lifted for the World Cup – then added: “It would be lovely if he could stay with us. The entire nation is demanding that. Let’s put pressure on the coach.
“Of course, it’s up to him. The squad want him to stay. We are happy with his sterling work. We hope to have him in the future.”
— Sacha Pisani (@Sachk0) June 25, 2018
Peru have nothing to play for against Australia after their loss to France eliminated the South Americans from the showpiece tournament in Russia.
However, Peru want to give their passionate fans something to celebrate, having gone 36 years without a World Cup.
“The match is vital for us,” Gareca said. “It’s very important. We’re taking it very seriously. We wanted to end in the best possible manner. Especially for our fans here and back home. For us, the match is as important as the previous two.”
Peru will be without star forward Jefferson Farfan after he sustained a serious head injury in training.
Farfan was taken to hospital, where he remains, after colliding with a team-mate on Saturday.
“We were very concerned. We have to thank the immediate attention of medical team. We are grateful to Russia for being so well prepare for this kind of event,” Gareca said. “Farfan received all assistance required.
“He was unconscious for a couple of minutes. Currently, he is in hospital. There are some standards in terms of recovery. Those protocols make it mandatory for player to remain in hospital for 72 hours. He could be released from hospital but we understand that it’s priority for the organisers here.”
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