Uruguay boss Alonso rejects accusations of negative play after Portugal defeat

Uruguay coach Diego Alonso defended himself from accusations of being too conservative in the 2-0 defeat to Portugal, where his side only really threatened after falling behind.

“I don’t think we have been more defensive, but our rivals also play. We are not sitting deep, our rival also plays and make you sit deep,” Alonso was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

“Today Portugal had more chances than we did. We lost the ball too easily and had to defend deeper than against South Korea,” said the Uruguay coach, who added that his side improved in the second half, and they would give everything in their decisive last match against Ghana.

Unless Uruguay beat the African side, they will be on their way home.

“Against Ghana we will look to win and we will try to form a system that suits us best. I have a lot of confidence and although I am certain the next game will be difficult, we will do everything possible to win.”

“The team has to relax and it has to play, as we did in the second half today,” insisted Alonso.

Alonso also defended his use of Federico Valverde in central midfield rather than the wider role in which he has shone for Real Madrid this season.

“I think Federico in the four games in qualifying played in the same position as today, in more of a pivot. That’s the position he played in today, when he is at Real Madrid, thanks to the quality of the players around him, he can play out wide, but he has given us a lot for us playing in the middle.”

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