Mexico's Hirving Lozano held back by lack of emotional control - Osorio
DALLAS -- Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio believes PSV winger Hirving Lozano could play in one of Europe's top leagues, but said the 22-year-old needs to control his emotions and accept constructive criticism.
Lozano is currently the joint-top scorer in the Eredivisie with 14 goals and there has been persistent reports that Premier League clubs are looking at him, although Osorio implied the former Pachuca player is not yet the finished article.
"It is very easy to say that Hirving Lozano has to be in the Mexican national team's starting XI now," said Osorio, when asked by ESPN FC in a news conference ahead of El Tri's friendly against Croatia in AT&T Stadium on Tuesday. "Two years ago it wasn't like that."
"I always thought that Hirving ... could be someone to export [to Europe]. It's very gratifying and it makes me happy to see where Hirving is at.
"Now we have to contain Hirving. One of the things is his emotional control in games. It didn't pass us by that in the third goal [against Iceland on Friday], Hirving acted in an inappropriate way that could cause us problems in the future and we're taking that on board.
"We do believe, like we thought two years ago, that Hirving has the potential to go to a bigger club and a league with more history, respecting a lot and appreciating the way PSV and the Dutch league has believed in our Mexican players.
"We hope we know how to manage Hirving and he accepts the constructive critique and is a player that can be so disruptive like those are so valued in other teams."
Osorio suggested that due to Croatia being without six players -- including Luka Modric and Mario Mandzukic -- Mexico may give chances for certain fringe players such as Edson Alvarez, Omar Govea, Jorge Hernandez and Jonathan Gonzalez to impress ahead of May's World Cup squad announcement, although the backbone of El Tri's team is likely to be made up of regulars, said the Colombian.
"We have players that are consolidated and hopefully the others are ready so that they sow doubt and make us think about marginal decisions in the 23 [player squad]," said Osorio.
Osorio was also asked about the difficulties of Mexico's opening game against Germany and how a loss could upset the team heading into the other Group F matches against Sweden and South Korea, but the coach was keen to stress that El Tri can make history on June 17.
"We, and personally I, think that it is a great opportunity," stated Osorio. "There is no better opportunity for Mexican football than to compete with the current champion."
"If we base ourselves on concrete reasons, there is sufficient reason to believe Mexico can go toe-to-toe with anyone, while respecting the opponent."
The Mexico manager expressed concern over midfield Hector Herrera, who turned up to camp with an injury and traveled back to club side Porto on Sunday.
"We decided to send him back yesterday so that his club sees the seriousness [of the injury] and we hope that they take responsibility and do the right thing," said Osorio.
Over 55,000 tickets had been sold as of Monday morning for Mexico's final game before the World Cup squad is announced.
Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.