Martino backs strikers

01 July 2010 10:50

Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino has leapt to the defence of his goal-shy attack ahead of Saturday's World Cup quarter-final with Spain in Johannesburg.

The South American side secured their first ever last eight appearance at football's biggest tournament but the strike trio of Manchester City's Roque Santa Cruz and Borussia Dortmund's Lucas Barrios and Nelson Valdez have all failed to find the net.

However, Martino believes the negative approach of Paraguay's opponents has not helped their cause. He said: "One mustn't be too hard on our strikers. If they aren't scoring well, maybe it's because the balls aren't arriving fast enough to them."

He added: "To score goals, you need to receive the ball in advantageous positions. I wouldn't like to be unfair to the strikers. I also hope that our next opponents will allow us to play differently and it won't be simply down to us to dictate the game."

Source: PA