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Mexico boss promises more of the same
Miguel Herrera has promised more scintillating football in Mexico's World Cup intercontinental play-off against New Zealand, as he looks to land the national coaching role on a permanent basis.
El Tri are already virtually assured a spot at next year's tournament in Brazil after trouncing the All Whites 5-1 in Mexico City, but Herrera said he would not shut up shop in the return leg in Wellington on Wednesday.
Rather than emphasise defence, Herrera named an unchanged side from the one which delivered a high tempo passing game last week that helped restore the faith of Mexican fans after a dismal qualifying campaign.
"We're here to win," he told reporters in the New Zealand capital through an interpreter.
"We know that New Zealand need to come and attack us but we're going to play exactly the same as we did in Mexico.
"We want to win this game and we want to go to the World Cup."
Herrera took over the reins last month with Mexico in crisis after winning only two of their 10 CONCACAF qualifiers, scoring a paltry seven goals along the way and shedding three managers.
The 45-year-old is officially on loan from his Liga MX side Club America but admitted he hoped to stay on and take the national team to Brazil after dramatically turning around its fortunes.
"Ask the guys at the back," he initially replied when asked about his long-term ambitions, before adding: "Undoubtedly, of course I want it."
Herrera tipped a 3-0 win for Mexico ahead of the first leg but declined to make a similar prediction for the Wellington match, saying only that he would be happy if Mexico qualified for their sixth straight World Cup.
"We want to win this game, the field is in good nick and there will be a lot of spaces on the field and we're here to win," he said.
"We know we have 90 minutes to play if we can win, then all of Mexico will be happy."
Should Mexico qualify, it will mean they have reached 15 of the last 20 World Cups, making them one of the game's most consistent performers.
However, Herrera was determined no complacency would creep in for the tie against New Zealand, who are ranked just 79th in the world but desperate to make amends for their poor showing in Mexico City.
He said he had challenged his players to keep a clean sheet at Wellington's Westpac Stadium.
"I wasn't very happy with the goal we conceded (in Mexico)," he said.
"I've been watching some videos with the team and hopefully we won't concede any more tomorrow."
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