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Jun 19, 2010

Weiss determined to prove credentials

Slovakia winger Vladimir Weiss believes that his father's position as the national team coach means he must work extra hard to maintain the respect of his team-mates.

• Blog: Must-win game for Slovakia
• Preview: High stakes in Group F

Weiss, who ended last season on loan to Bolton from Manchester City, is expected to retain his place against Paraguay on Sunday after impressing in his side's opening draw with New Zealand.

And the 20-year-old admits that he is under more pressure than most, with the Slovakian media and supporters scrutinising his every move to be sure that he deserves a place in the starting line-up on merit.

"It is difficult being the manager's son," Weiss said. "He did not choose to be the manager and then I got into the team.

"I knew it was going to make it harder for me with my dad being the manager. But the players are okay with it and everyone is being as professional as they can be.''

Weiss senior revealed that his son gets no special treatment and admitted he is probably tougher on his son than the rest of the squad.

"It is not easy to coach him because he has an individual way of playing," the Slovakia coach said. "He has strengths but also weak points. I think I am more strict with him than other players.''

Slovakia, in the finals for the first time, face a Paraguay side that drew with world champions Italy after coming second in their qualifying group behind Brazil.

Weiss, who could be sent out on loan by City again next season, insists the team have forgotten about losing two points against New Zealand after their stoppage-time equaliser.

"The manager has been very positive and told us just to focus on the game tomorrow," he said. "There was a lot of stress in that first game and some criticism back home after the result.

"But we are here to enjoy ourselves and with a little bit of luck we can do something against Paraguay.''

Weiss is aware they will have to be on their guard against striker Roque Santa Cruz, his club team-mate.

"Roque has been bothered by injuries...he is natural goalscorer. He is big man, very strong and difficult to shake off the ball. We know what he is capable of but it is not all about him as Paraguay have a lot of good players.''

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