Vancouver Whitecaps 'won't be scared' against Tigres - Carl Robinson
Vancouver Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson is ready to "prove people wrong" as his side ready for their first-leg CONCACAF Champions League semifinal clash with Tigres on Tuesday.
Robinson's MLS side have just kicked the season off while their Liga MX rivals are in the thick of their league campaign, causing many to believe the Whitecaps will be at a competitive disadvantage in the tie.
However, Robinson says his team will be ready for the challenge ahead.
"I like proving people wrong," Robinson said on Monday. "It's going to be a massive game. A real difficult game against a top quality team.
"As I say to my players, you want to perform every day and challenge yourself against the best players. Now we get the opportunity over two legs. We won't be scared. We'll be fully focused. We'll be organized."
Former interim Mexico coach Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti's team didn't jump out to a great start this season and sit just 12th in the Liga MX Clausura table, but their play has picked up of late.
Boasting the likes of France international forward Andre-Pierre Gignac, Tuca's team has collected seven points from their last three games, and Robinson hailed the quality of Tigres' side.
"No one will give us a chance because they have world class players and a world class coach," Robinson said. "Great. FA Cup ties bring up shocks now and again, so we'll just go and look forward to it. Top players are top players for a reason, but we've got some exciting young players here. We've got some top players as well.
"It goes down to fine margins. It's a great opportunity for the club. We made history by qualifying for the Champions League. Then it was the quarterfinals, now it's the semifinals, so why not? Someone's got to get through, so why not [us]? We'll be underdogs, but we'll be up for the challenge."
Vancouver will be up against recent history as much as a strong opponent. Only two MLS clubs have advanced past Mexican sides in the past nine years.
Robinson added: "I don't think you can take too much from it. I spoke to [former Montreal coach] Frankie Klopas about certain things that he decided to do. There are tendencies I find, a lot of strong points, and areas that I feel we can try and exploit of their teams, irrelevant if we're a Canadian or an American team.
"I don't think it really matters. We just have to play to our levels. If it works, then we've got a chance of getting something out of the game. Organization and discipline will be the key thing."
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