Maradona wants Argentina focused on the present

Diego Maradona wants his Argentina team to stay focused on the job at hand rather than worry about who they may or may not meet later on in the World Cup.

The South Americans took a major step towards qualification from Group B with a commanding display against South Korea yesterday as Gonzalo Higuain scored the first hat-trick of the competition in a 4-1 win in Johannesburg.



Maradona said: "We've seen my team play, we have evaluated the players, we've taken a look at what may be in store for us, but we want to concentrate and go on playing this way.



"We want to follow this path. We don't want to think so much about possible opponents and other teams we could perhaps meet afterward.



"I think the competition as such is important and also to have a certain competition amongst the players to see how we work as a team in the World Cup instead of looking at the other teams."



Maradona, who has been criticised as a coach from several quarters during his tenure, does not share sentiments that leading Argentina to the brink of a round of 16 place with a game to spare has made him a better coach.



He continued: "I don't know to what extent I've been growing as a coach.



"I've always been there to help the players, guide the players and everything that has happened to me in football my life, I have a good experience.



"I have learnt enormously along the years. If it means I have improved as a coach, that's for the players to say. But if you have such a sensational team, that's easy."



The Argentina boss has also been seen to show plenty of affection towards his players, something he reveals is part of his personality.



He added: "It could be that I have some weaknesses as a coach and it's a matter of affection.



"We have a great group, we have a great team that is indeed frank and open, just like a family.



"If someone comes late for a training session, we like to talk about it.



"I believe that understanding and matching things is better than giving someone a fine. If you do it nicely, things go better."



Korea's Seok Oh-beom paid tribute to Maradona's side.



He also felt defensive errors cost the side at Soccer City as they now turn their attentions to the final match of the group - against Nigeria next Tuesday.



Seok said: "We knew that we were coming up against one of the best teams.



"We made some unforgivable defensive errors and that's why we lost the game."



Coach Huh Jung-moo added: "I think our players fought very hard, but I think we didn't manage to control the flow of the game, which was quite decisive.



"I didn't expect us to lose by such a large margin, but everything will go down to the final group game. This defeat is a great lesson and we must learn from it when we play against Nigeria."



News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
tvX Factor review: Drama as Cheryl and Simon spar over girl band

News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
News
newsIn short, yes
Sport
Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
art
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
music
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
News
Groundskeeper Willie has backed Scottish independence in a new video
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor poses the question of whether we are every truly alone in 'Listen'
tvReview: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode to date
News
i100
Life and Style
Cara Delevigne at the TopShop Unique show during London Fashion Week
fashion
News
The life-sized tribute to Amy Winehouse was designed by Scott Eaton and was erected at the Stables Market in Camden
peopleBut quite what the singer would have made of her new statue...
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories