Honduras coach Luis Suarez said his side's aggresive streak is nothing to be ashamed of as they head into a match against France in their opening FIFA World Cup game on Sunday. The Central Americans' physical approach in their warm-up friendly against England last weekend was heavily criticised. They were reduced to 10-men in the second-half of the 0-0 draw when Brayan Beckeles was shown a second yellow card.
Suarez insisted the reaction to one match was excessive, prefering instead to concentrate on their disciplinary record in qualifying. "We played 16 games of qualifiers and had no red cards so that shows that we play within the rules," he said. "We play with a lot of determination and we are intense, but that is allowed and important in football.
"Our attitude is to face the games with character, with hunger, because we are looking as a team to achieve our goals. That is our attitude and I think that is a good thing."
In their third appearance in the competition, Honduras are joined by Switzerland and Suarez's former side Ecuador in Group E. They can take encouragement from CONCACAF neighbours Costa Rica as they produced an upset by beating Uruguay 3-1 on Saturday and Suarez is hoping for a similar outcome against France.
We played 16 games of qualifiers and had no red cards so that shows that we play within the rules
"I congratulate Costa Rica and (their coach) Jorge (Luis Pinto). I am not surprised because I know how good a team Costa Rica are, but it doesn't change my thoughts for tomorrow at all. We are aware of what our strengths are and we want to show them."
Suarez is aware, though, that his side will have to be on their game defensively if they are to register their first ever win at the World Cup. "France have a lot of strengths," he continued. "In attack they are very quick, not just transition but how they move the ball in the final third. They have players that can strike the ball very well from outside the area, their full backs get forward as well. They are a very strong team and have many things in attack we have to be very careful of."