Oscar Tabarez is not worried about who his Uruguay team may play in the next round of the FIFA World Cup™ despite a potential South American derby against Argentina being on the cards.
La Celeste are on the brink of securing a place in the last 16, and a point against Mexico in Rustenburg tomorrow will ensure their progress. It will also keep them in the number one position in Group A and help avoid a meeting with their continental neighbours, who are on course to top Group B.
However, Tabarez said: "I'm not even thinking about future matches," he said. "It's not a question of wanting to play with this team or that other team and I'm certainly not praying to do that or lighting candles.
"I've participated in prior World Cups and I know you have to come to a World Cup not thinking about this. We know which rivals we're going to have to play months in advance and all the possible permutations. What we want to do is qualify for the next round and in addition we want to top the group if we can, but not because we want to avoid Argentina. So I've certainly not stopped to think about this."
Like most of the South American teams in South Africa, Uruguay have also impressed. After a goalless draw against France to kick-off the tournament, they followed that up with a 3-0 drubbing of the hosts that made many observers sit up and take notice.
It was their first win at a finals for more than 20 years, with the last one having come in Italy in 1990 against Korea Republic. There was just one appearance in the global showpiece in between at Korea and Japan in 2002 where they lost one and drew two of their games.
"It's 20 years now since we won a World Cup match and the time has come," Tabarez said. "Statistics are there to create tendencies, but sometimes these trends come to an end. We haven't come here to break records, though. We've come here to play a good World Cup."
But Uruguay's record against the Mexicans is not a good one, having won just three times in 17 meetings - with seven draws and seven losses. Asked why they had such a woeful record against their opponents, the coach responded: "Because Mexican football is very good indeed.
"Mexico have always been good rivals, given the characteristics of their players. It's a great side with excellent players, an excellent coach, who has experience also in Europe. They are very quick and very nimble, but I think we can be a difficult rival for them as well. We'll have to see what comes out of this."