Former Mexico manager Miguel “Piojo” Herrera has criticized El Tri‘s upcoming friendly against Paraguay, which will feature a number of fringe players that aren’t expected to take part in the World Cup.
Mexico will travel north to Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium to face Paraguay in a friendly on Aug. 31. Landing on a non-FIFA date, current El Tri manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino will utilize an all-Liga MX squad that is mostly comprised of backup national team options.
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“It’s something where we shouldn’t create expectations just for the sake of it in these games,” Herrera, now manager of Liga MX side Tigres, said during a news conference.
“For me these are the games that don’t work, because 80 percent of those who are in the call-up are not going to be in the World Cup.
“The rival [Paraguay] is very good, but it’s not a game that is going to prepare the national team for the World Cup,” added Herrera.
Despite this, Herrera praised two his Tigres players — Sebastian Cordova and Jesus Angulo — who were included in the Mexico roster, while also being critical of the absence of the in-form and experienced defender Diego Reyes.
“He’s doing well,” stated the Tigres coach. “Reyes was already in the national team.”
Herrera previously coached the Mexican national team from 2013-15, helping them qualify for the 2014 World Cup and guiding them to the Round of 16. In the summer of 2015, he was fired after a fight with a journalist.
Earlier in March of this year, Herrera made headlines after throwing his hat into the ring for Mexico’s managerial job while Martino was recovering from eye surgery.
Amid pressure on El Tri through a poor run of form in World Cup qualifying, Herrera noted that if Martino “doesn’t have the health, he should step aside.”