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By ESPN Staff

Dunga seeks courage to make tough choices

TERESOPOLIS, Brazil, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Dunga, who has given Brazil a meaner streak since taking over as coach, said he simply had the courage to make the tough decisions that were necessary.

Players like Ronaldo and Adriano, criticised for being lethargic and off the pace, have been sidelined by the former captain who has imposed a strict code of discipline.

Ronaldo has not played at all under Dunga while Adriano has made only one appearance.

'I think my biggest virtue during this time was I did what had to be done, and which all Brazilians said had to be done,' Dunga told reporters on Thursday as he continued preparations for Sunday's 2010 World Cup qualifier in Peru.

'A lot of people didn't have the courage to take these decisions and I'm here to take them, to think about the team.'

Dunga took over after Brazil's lacklustre performance at last year's World Cup in Germany where they lost 1-0 to France in the quarter-finals.

Brazil have lost twice in 21 matches under Dunga and won the Copa America in Venezuela in July despite the absence of Ronaldinho and Kaka, who asked to be rested.

They have also taken four points from their opening two matches in World Cup qualifying.

'The players know they're here to serve the team with pride, passion and happiness,' said Dunga. 'Everyone has his space, they all want to play, but the decision is the coach's.'

Despite good results, Dunga has been criticised for Brazil's sometimes pragmatic style and he has a prickly relationship with the media.

'My failing is I think things have to be transparent and I don't like personal advantages,' he said.

'I'm very frank and transparent. If I was more cynical, more politically correct, perhaps it would be better.'