Tite backs Brazil to grow even stronger
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
ROOM FOR GROWTH: Brazil head coach Tite.