Mexico head coach Miguel Herrera (center) congratulates Oribe Peralta after the Santos forward scored one of his three goals against host New Zealand in the second leg of the CONCACAF/Oceania intercontinental playoff on November 20, 2013, in Wellington. (Photo: Mexsport)
WELLINGTON, New Zealand – After Wednesday’s 4-2 defeat of host New Zealand in the second leg of the CONCACAF/Oceania intercontinental playoff to win the series 9-3 on aggregate and secure a ticket to next year’s to the World Cup, Mexico head coach Miguel Herrera was in a sincerely grateful mood.
It was only a little more than a month ago that the former Atlante defensive standout was appointed El Tri’s fourth manager in a five-game period, albeit on-loan from Liga MX champion Club America.
By finishing fourth in the CONCACAF Hexagonal, Mexico missed out on an automatic Brazil 2014 berth and was obliged to take an alternate route to South America.
“I am very happy about the performance and development of the boys,” said the proud 45-year-old, who replaced Victor Manuel Vucetich after only two games in charge. “Thankful to the utmost for their dedication, thankful for this opportunity, for the support from the 18 Mexican football owners who gave me the go ahead so I could have this opportunity.”
In addition, Herrera praised the sacrifice of his players and their level commitment.
“Of course I am happy, because I reiterate, the success of these boys is tied with my success,” he added. “Of course I am happy for them, for the objective they accomplished, because in the end what was wanted was achieved.
“I am not a screamer, for that I am not on the verge of tears but I am happy, the objective was realized, that was why they brought us in, mission accomplished, done.”
Nevertheless, Herrera did not hesitate in insisting that if Mexico wants to make an impression at the World Cup, it needs to make some corrections before the start of the tournament.
“To go to the World Cup things have to improve a lot,” Herrera concluded. “We are aware that the level of the World Cup is something else, and if we want to have a different World Cup, it will take a lot of work to improve, no doubt about that.”