Reinaldo Rueda: Ecuador to take game to the Swiss
Rueda’s men kick-off their FIFA World Cup campaign against Switzerland in Brasilia, with the Swiss overwhelming favourites to win and also progress from the group.
Switzerland have only lost one of their past 18 international fixtures – a 2-1 defeat to South Korea in October.
But Rueda insists Ecuador will take the game to a Switzerland team boasting the likes of Gokhan Inler, Valentin Stocker, Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and Josip Drmic.
”We are conscious of our potential as well as the differences we have within our group rivals,” Rueda said of Group E, which also consists of France and Honduras.
“But I trust Ecuador has a very good group and a very supportive one.
“They will know how to bear with the first 30 minutes, which will be very important against a team that put us under great pressure.
“But I hope to dictate the pace of the match, to have the game under our control.”
Ecuador will not be short of motivation after striker Christian Benitez died from a heart attack last year.
“For us, he (Benitez) is always in our minds and in our hearts, even more for who he was to us than his football ability,” Rueda said.
“On the pitch we are on our way to understanding it as a part of life.
“One of the compromises we have on this moral side is to pay tribute to his memory. We have images of him at the training camp, he is here with us.”
Meanwhile, defender Frickson Erazo believes his team-mates owe it to the fans back home to produce a good performance after narrowly missing out on qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.
Ecuador collected 23 points from 18 games in CONMEBOL qualifying, just one point shy of Uruguay as they failed to book a spot in South Africa.
“I believe we owe the country to be in this World Cup after missing the tournament by just one point four years ago,” said the 26-year-old.
“However we know what we have to do on the pitch. I might be one of these youngsters making his debut at the World Cup and I have been trying to understand it, it’s not easy.”
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