Argentina coach Diego Maradona has admitted that “it will be tough and more complicated” to qualify for the 2010 World Cup after the 3-1 defeat to arch-rivals Brazil on Saturday.
Maradona confirmed that he has no intention of relinquishing his role and claimed that the defeat had strengthened his resolve to take Argentina to the finals in South Africa.
“To lose to Brazil is always ugly. We were very motivated about winning and to move closer towards the World Cup. But now we can’t sit back because qualifying will be tough,” said Maradona, during the press conference after the match.
He admitted that from now on Argentina “have to work and to continue things against Paraguay to see if we can claim the three points.”
He stated “it will be tough, more complicated, and even more so after today’s defeat, which we thought that we could win.”
“The responsibility is mine. I would never send a player to jail,” he added.
Quizzed about his position, Maradona replied: “I spoke to Julio [Grondona] and with Carlos [Bilardo]. I will speak about it with my daughters. I will work hard like crazy. This won’t break me.
“To turn around a negatitve deficit against Brazil is complicated because they have great players. I won’t complain about my players, because I threw in everything. Unfortunately we couldn’t [turn the game in our favour].”
Maradona felt that his team could have scored a goal in the first half, but it just wasn’t to be.
“Unfortunately, we had some chances in the first half with Maxi [Rodriguez] and [Carlos] Tevez but we couldn’t score. We practised high balls because we know Brazil are very good at this,” he added.
“I’m not annoyed, I was very annoyed against Bolivia [a 6-1 defeat in La Paz]. I’m calm with the players I have. I didn’t like the fact that each time they attacked us they scored a goal. We have to keep on working and we have to go to Paraguay to see if we can claim all three points.”