Mexico coach Javier Aguirre has stressed the importance of winning tomorrow's Group A match against Uruguay and insists his side will not settle for a draw that would take both teams through.
"Tomorrow we're going to try and win," the El Tri boss said. "We can be first, second, third or even fourth in the group. "The law of the Mexican side is to win. If as a consequence of what happens on the pitch there's a draw or a defeat and we both qualify with no major goal differences, then we'll both be happy. But I can guarantee that the Mexican side is going to go out there to try and win."
The Mexicans, who have a solid record at the FIFA World Cup™ having reached the last 16 in four straight tournaments since 1994, also have the added incentive of avoiding a clash with Argentina in the second round if they can top the group.
Aguirre continued: "My players are very relaxed and know they can be either first or second in the group. They know they have to be fully focussed because we still haven't achieved anything, so we have no reason to feel happy. Mathematically we still don't have our ticket to the next round and tomorrow we have to try and take those three points, so that we can achieve our aims for the first round."
Aguirre's side have had an excellent tournament so far, drawing the opening match against the hosts 1-1, before easing past France 2-0. And the coach believes their pre-tournament work is finally paying off. He added: "We've been working together now for about 75 days. Judging by the players' behaviour on and off the pitch, I think we're doing very well.
"We're in good form. I don't have variables to measure the mood, the physical status and the footballing feeling of the team. But all the games we've played together, I've seen huge enthusiasm, all with a will and wish to win. We lost against England and Holland, but we've always been enthusiastic. We've defended our style and our approach. Of course, we've made mistakes and we've paid a high price. I hope tomorrow we don't make mistakes and have a perfect game and can win."
Two players will definitely be out for Mexico - Arsenal striker Carlos Vela, who has a hamstring problem, and the suspended Efrain Juarez. "We are very sad about Vela, that's a concern," said Aguirre. "But I've got 21 players available and they're all physically and mentally very strong."