Los Ticos start their bid to reach the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ next weekend when they take on CONCACAF rivals Grenada in the first leg of their Stage 2 tie. But while coach Hernan Medford knows nothing less than victory against the unknown islanders will do, he is keen to play down hopes of a Costa Rican romp.
"Let's make one thing clear," said the Ticos boss at a press conference held at the squad's training camp at Guapiles, near the Caribbean coast. "We're under no obligation to go and get a big win. In football there are no such things as hammerings. Our only obligation is to get through to the next round, as simple as that. But there's no law that says we have to go out and score a hatful of goals."
Medford, who appeared in two FIFA World Cup finals for his country, is clearly taking nothing for granted against the Grenadians, pointing to their 10-0 win over US Virgin Islands as evidence they are not to be taken lightly.
"It might sound contradictory but if we'd been drawn against US Virgin Islands, I think we would have to score at least five. That's not the case against Grenada though."
Medford has taken his team to the country's Caribbean coast to help them acclimatise to the type of conditions they will face in Grenada, a further indication of how seriously he is taking the tie.
Costa Rica are aiming for their third consecutive appearance at the finals and their fourth in all, the first of them coming at Italy 1990.