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Maradona insists he will do everything to qualify

Under-pressure Argentina coach Diego Maradona insists he will continue to fight for World Cup qualification, despite his side's damaging 1-0 defeat to Paraguay on Wednesday.

The former legend has not enjoyed a successful run as manager of the national team and Nelson Valdez's goal condemned Argentina to a fourth defeat in their past five qualifiers.

Argentina - who are one point behind fourth-placed Ecuador in the standings - are at home to Peru on October 10, and then away to sixth-placed Uruguay three days later and realistically must win both matches if they are to avoid a play-off, or worse.

But Maradona insists there is no need to panic and that Argentina are "still alive".

"I never imagined myself being in this situation, I thought we would be much higher. But this is the reality. Despite everything we still have a chance, we still aren't out of the World Cup. While I have a dot of blood I will do everything for Argentina to qualify," he said.

"We will chat as a group to find out the mistakes and to see what happened to us in these important matches that we lost when prepared well mentally. And we will prepare ourselves like we always have.

"I will reunite with the rest of the coaching staff and we will find out where we went wrong. If we should have gone out with one player or the other. But we will do this in private and with my assistants. And then we will speak to the players. We will say what we need to say with the players."

With regards to a potential play-off match, former World Cup winner claimed he was not worried by the prospect of playing a CONCACAF side: "There's no drama. In 1994 we had to travel 24 hours for a play-off. No-one died due to playing it, and at the end we qualified for the World Cup. We are still alive," he said.


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