FORTALEZA, Brazil -- Mexico manager Miguel Herrera has lauded the attitude of striker Javier Hernandez ahead of Sunday's round of 16 match against the Netherlands.
Hernandez has long been one of El Tri's most prolific scorers, having tallied 36 times to make him the third highest goal scorer in the country's history. But in Brazil he has been reduced to a substitute's role, as Herrera has preferred Gio Dos Santos and Oribe Peralta up top.
So despite scoring for El Tri in the 3-1 victory over Croatia, Herrera said that Hernandez would once again begin Sunday's match on the bench.
"We are going to respect the team, because I feel they've done quite well," said Herrera at Saturday's press conference with the help of an interpreter.
But Herrera also went to great lengths to say how pleased he was with how Hernandez has embraced his super-sub role.
"Something for which I'm grateful to Javier is that he's never lowered his guard, he's never crossed his arms," said Herrera. "He could feel that he should be in the initial 11, but we know of the good performance of those who started these matches, because of the results that we've obtained."
Herrera later added, "[Hernandez] is waiting, and when he comes into the pitch, he comes in with a great attitude and great determination. And tomorrow, no doubt, we will see him with that same attitude and determination; a player that will also be of concern to the opponent just like the initial 11."
Herrera reaffirmed that the only change he will make to his lineup will be the insertion of Carlos Salcido, who will replace the suspended Jose Vasquez in the center of Mexico's midfield. Herrera acknowledged that Salcido and Vasquez are different types of players, but he feels that Salcido's traits will be of great benefit to Mexico.
"Carlos is a guy with a lot of experience," said Herrera. "He doesn't have the intensity that Vasquez gives us, but it gives us the experience, the timing, the positioning in order to recover [possession of the ball]."