England vs Costa Rica World Cup 2014: England are 'favourites' claims Costa Rica manager

The Central American side are keen to finish top of Group D

Belo Horizonte

Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto claimed that England will start tomorrow’s match as favourites because they will be playing for pride but that his team is determined to finish top of Group D with maximum points.

“The situation for England is very complex,” said Pinto. “The mother country of football cannot leave Brazil without any points. This is going to be a one-off match for England, they have to get something from it.

“We will not be lowering our guard and will fight all the way to ensure that we finish in the top position. We want to be number one in our group and we deserve to be number one because of how we have played.”

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Following victories over Uruguay and Italy, Costa Rica have been the surprise package of the tournament but Pinto claimed that there is more to come from his team.

“We have the capability to play even better in the next round. While we may not have the big names of countries like England, Brazil and Germany I think this team has shown what it is capable of.

“There are no secrets to why we have played so well. It’s been all about hard work, meticulous planning and making sure that the players are in a good mental and emotional state. Getting the mental balance of the players right has been central to our performances.

“We are a small country but we are keeping our cool. We seek a level of perfection and excellence and aim to get better with every match and you will see this against England."


Pinto revealed that he will make two changes for the match and that things are set to become increasingly difficult for his team as their performances attract more attention.

He said: “We have already achieved a lot for the country but I have warned my team that things at this World Cup will get more complicated from now because other teams know what we can do and will have been closely analysing our play.

“The enemy will have been watching us. This is a team that has a passion for football that many of the bigger, richer nations do not have. Everybody in the team knows their job, from the kit man to those on the pitch and they give it 100 per cent. With this attitude I know that we will be able to achieve even more.”

Bryan Ruiz heads home during Costa Rica's shock 1-0 victory against Italy Bryan Ruiz heads home during Costa Rica's shock 1-0 victory against Italy  

Colombian Pinto could face the country of his birth in the next round.

He said: “I am not worried about facing Colombia or any other nation. I have a job to do for Costa Rica and I think I have done it pretty well. For the time being we are just focused on the match against England and ensuring that we take all three points”

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