Mexico news

El Tri 'even more determined'

November 15, 2013
By ESPN staff

El Tri coach Miguel Herrera said he doesn't visualize any changes to the team's lineup for the Nov. 20 return date vs. New Zealand.

El Tri player grades | Is El Tri back?

ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty ImagesMiguel Herrera said he is not taking New Zealand for granted.

"We are going in with the idea that this is 0-0 and we aren’t going to risk anything," Herrera said via telephone on ESPN's Spanish language program Jorge Ramos y Su Banda. "We are going into this match with the same attitude of being as or even more determined than we were in the previous match."

Mexico beat New Zealand in the first leg of their intercontinental playoff on Wednesday to become the overwhelming favorite for a last-chance place at the 2014 World Cup. Mexico, which squeaked into the playoff, now just needs to finish the job in the second leg next Wednesday in New Zealand.

Herrera denied he was looking ahead to protecting his Club America players for Mexican league challenges following the El Tri qualifier.

"Here we are thinking about Mexico and not about the league," he said. "Until we qualify we won’t think about anything else but that. The 23 players I have here are the national team, they don’t belong to any club right now. On Monday or Tuesday we will determine our starters but with nothing else on our minds but getting Mexico its (World Cup) berth. We aren’t saving anyone."

Herrera refused to discuss whether he would consider adding Carlos Vela to the national team should Herrera be approved to stay on as national team coach on Dec. 2.

"At this time I am only thinking about Mexico," he said. "I would evaluate that later."

Finally, Herrera said that as Mexico coach, he planned to cast his vote for Ballon d'Or winner for either Franck Ribery or Arjen Robben, "based on what they did last season."

Information from The Associated Press and ESPNDeportes.com was used in this report.

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