Tite backs Brazil to grow even stronger

Afro Voice (National Edition) - - Sport -

TITE in­sists Brazil can cope with be­ing in­stalled as World Cup favourites, fol­low­ing Ger­many’s shock exit, with the Sele­cao boss back­ing his side to grow in the knock­out stages at Rus­sia 2018.

Brazil sealed a 2-0 win over Ser­bia in Moscow on Wed­nes­day with goals ei­ther side of half­time by Paulinho and Thi­ago Silva to set up a last 16 clash against Mex­ico on Tues­day in Samara.

With Ger­many hav­ing fail­ing to ad­vance past the first round for the first time in 80 years, Brazil are now in­stalled with many book­mak­ers as they favourite to win the World Cup.

Tite ex­pects his side to grow in the knock­out stages hav­ing fin­ished as Group E win­ners.

“We can take the pres­sure, we are a bal­anced team and we have re­place­ments who can come in, which is im­por­tant,” Brazil’s head coach Tite said.

“For ex­am­ple, Marcelo was in­jured early on and we were able to re­place him.

“For us, this is about get­ting stronger and grow­ing.

“We em­brace ex­pec­ta­tions, but this team has cre­ated a high level be­cause they did very well in the qual­i­fi­ca­tions, but then you come to the World Cup, it’s a new cy­cle and a new for­mat.

“We have had three matches and things are on the up.”

Tite said he suf­fers with an em­bar­rass­ment of riches and that one of the hard­est parts of his job is de­cid­ing who to leave out, hav­ing brought on Manch­ester City star Fer­nand­inho in the sec­ond half and left Liver­pool’s Roberto Firmino on the bench in Moscow.

“It’s one of the things which drains me the most as a coach, to leave top qual­ity out.

“You have to chal­lenge the ath­letes to grow, it’s a short tour­na­ment and you have to have the right ath­letes for the right games.”

How­ever, the vic­tory may have come at a price as left­back Marcelo was forced off in the 10th minute with a back spasm.

Vis­i­bly strug­gling, the Real Madrid de­fender was ini­tially re­luc­tant to leave the pitch, be­fore be­ing re­placed by his Atletico Madrid coun­ter­part Filipe Luis.

“We don’t have an up­date on Marcelo’s in­jury, I just know he has a prob­lem with his back, he said his back was locked.

“It was a spasm in the sta­bil­is­ing mus­cle and you can’t play with that.” – AFP

PIC­TURE: GETTY IM­AGES

ROOM FOR GROWTH: Brazil head coach Tite.

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