Martino - It's a team game

19 June 2010 08:58

Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino played down the absence of Roque Santa Cruz as his players went for a stroll at the Free State Stadium ahead of their match against Slovakia.

Santa Cruz has been troubled with a leg muscle injury and only played a small part in the draw against Italy in their opening game. And while Martino refused to be drawn on whether Santa Cruz would start on Sunday, he explained: "Roque had the option whether to come or not and decided to stay at the hotel."

Vladimir Weiss, son of the Slovakia coach of the same name, is expected to retain his place in the Slovak team.

Weiss, 20, was impressive in the opening Group F match against New Zealand which ended in a 1-1 draw.

He said: "It is difficult being the manager's son. He did not choose to be the manager and then I got into the team.

"I knew it was going to make it harder for me with my dad being the manager. But the players are okay with it and everyone is being as professional as they can be."

Martino has told his side not to be complacent after shocking Italy in their first game.

He said: "They (Slovakia) have good technical ability and pose a different test for us, so we will have to adapt.

"Even if we win there is no guarantee we will qualify. What we have to do is work better with the ball than we did against Italy."

Source: PA