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Oct 17, 2013

El Tri coach defends his style

In a barb aimed directly at Chivas owner Jorge Vergara for his recent suggestion that Miguel "El Piojo" Herrera will take the reins at El Tri, Mexico national team coach Victor Manuel Vucetich said Thursday that being a hothead doesn't make you a good coach.

"The fact that you have strong character means that you can make smart decisions," Vucetich said in ESPN Deportes Radio's Raza Deportiva. Just because you yell, that doesn’t give you strong character. There is such a thing as bad character."

Vucetich continues to prepare El Tri for its 2014 World Cup qualifying international playoff first leg vs. New Zealand at Estadio Azteca on Nov. 13, despite swirling rumors that Herrera has already been picked as his replacement.

• Faitelson: Mexico does not belong
• Ramos: Mexico is undeserving
• Bennett: The U.S. keeps Mexico's World Cup hopes alive
• Carlisle: Breaking down the U.S. player grades
• Marshall: Breaking down the Mexico player grades

There were several media reports out of Mexico Wednesday claiming that Televisa CEO Emilio Azcarraga had already named Club Americas coach Herrera to replace Vucetich, although the Mexican Football Federation has not confirmed any coaching change.

The always outspoken Chivas Guadalajara owner Vergara, who wields power as key member of the 12-club owners’ association called for Vucetich’s head.

"A coaching change is necessary," Vergara said Wednesday. "The coach of El Tri must be someone who wears the pants and has the will to decide. We are working on this. It could be Miguel Herrera because he is showing he has strong character. To choose a new coach first we all have to agree."

In September during the heat of CONCACAF Hexagonal qualifying, Mexico changed coaches three times in one week. The federation appointed Vucetich after interim coach Luis Fernando Tena skippered a heartbreaking 2-0 loss to the United States. Tena coached just that one match. He had been named to replace beleaguered coach Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre, who was axed after the team’s 2-1 home loss to Honduras.

El Tri has qualified for five straight World Cups, last missing out in 1990, when the team was banned from qualifying for using ineligible players in a junior tournament. The last time Mexico participated in qualifying and did not reach the World Cup was 1982.

Information from ESPN Deportes was used in this report.

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