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World Cup Qualifying
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By ESPN Staff

Valdano: Eriksson facing a new reality in Mexico

MEXICO CITY, July 2 (Reuters) - Sven-Goran Eriksson will have to come to terms with antics designed to upset his players' sleep and taking his own food and water to matches as coach of Mexico, former Argentina striker Jorge Valdano said on Tuesday.

'The language will not be a problem,' Valdano, who was a member of Argentina's World Cup winning squad in Mexico in 1986, told a news conference. 'I think he will find more cultural difficulties.

'When his team go to play a match in a Central American country and he hears a band playing in front of the hotel, I'm not sure he is going to understand what is going on.'

Former England coach Eriksson replaced Hugo Sanchez, who was sacked after only 16 months at the helm, last month.

He will be thrown in at the deep end as Mexico face Honduras at home in a World Cup qualifier next month and are not expected to play any friendlies beforehand.

Jamaica and Canada complete the group from which two teams progress to the final stage of the CONCACAF region qualifiers.

In the past, Mexico have taken their own food and water to Central America, where fans let off firecrackers and play music in front of the visiting team's hotel to keep the players awake.

'He is a man with vast experience, who knows what it is like to move to one country from another,' said Valdano.

'But here, he will find a reality which will be new to him and this will generate uncertainty.

'He will find many new things which he will have to know how to interpret and he is going to have to adapt in record time.

'But were talking about an intelligent person, and so we can be confident that he will achieve it.'

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