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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 11, 2008

World Cup qualification a must, says Eriksson

MEXICO CITY, July 10 (Reuters) - Mexico have an obligation to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, said new coach Sven Goran-Eriksson on Thursday.

The former England coach, whose first match in charge will be a World Cup qualifier at home to Honduras next month, said Mexico were the better side but complained about the short period of time he would have to work with the team.

Mexico face Honduras, Canada and Jamaica in the first group phase of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers, which will be played between August and November.

The top two then progress to the final round of CONCACAF qualifiers, featuring six teams, next year.

'I think that qualifying for the World Cup is an obligation for Mexico, without doubt,' the Swede told a media conference.

'I think Honduras have a good team but Mexico are better and we have to win. We don't have much time but we have to work.'

Eriksson said his players would only get together three days before the match.

'I would have liked to have had the players earlier,' he said. 'It's not ideal, but it's reality, we have to do it that way and that's the end of it.'

He added: 'I can't say how Mexico will play, or with what style, before I've spoken to the players.

'I feel that Mexico have a strong team and we won't have trouble adapting.'

Eriksson's appointment has caused controversy in Mexico, with critics saying he will not have time to get to know the players and will be unfamiliar with the conditions.

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