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."



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones