x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Mexico coach wary of the attacking threat of Chile

Chile may have changed their coach but will not have altered their attacking style according to Luis Fernando Tena, the Mexico stand-in coach.

SAN JUAN, ARGENTINA // Chile may have changed their coach but will not have altered their attacking style according to Luis Fernando Tena, the Mexico stand-in coach.

Chile, who surprised many by reaching the last-16 at last year's World Cup, won admirers in South Africa for the way the Marcelo Bielsa-coached side took the game to their opponents.

Bielsa has since resigned and been replaced by another Argentine, Claudio Borghi, who is regarded a more cautious tactician.

But Tena, whose side face Chile in San Juan later today, said he expected few changes.

"It's practically the same squad, and I'd say the same style of play," he said. "It's true that Claudio Borghi has made some changes, but Claudio Borghi always employs that attacking style that he had at Colo Colo and then again in Argentina.

"He has a very distinct way of playing and some great players, especially in attack."

Borghi coached Chile's top side Colo Colo to consecutive league titles in 2006/07 before a less successful spell at Boca Juniors.

Tena, who is Mexico's assistant coach but is in charge during the Copa, said his squad had "had a rethink" after their players were rocked by a disciplinary scandal before the Copa.

Eight were sent home after CCTV footage emerged showing women entering their hotel rooms during a training camp in Ecuador, causing eight replacements from the Under 20 squad to be drafted in at the last minute.

"Clearly they lack experience, but not quality and, above all, the hunger to do well," Tena said.

With little experience at hand, Mexico are likely to rely heavily on 22-year-old Giovani dos Santos who has already won over 40 caps and played for top-flight clubs in England, Turkey and Spain.

Dos Santos helped Mexico win the Concacaf Gold Cup last month.

"He had a very good Gold Cup and we all saw the quality he's got," Tena said. "But no one wins alone, and we're not going to ask Giovani to save us or score three goals every game."