John Herdman expects an intense match against Mexico

Canadian men’s national team head coach John Herdman is preparing for the match against Mexico on Thursday night by instilling confidence in his players, admitting that their 2-1 Gold Cup defeat served as a turning point for the team.

During the game in the summer, Canada almost managed a 1-1 draw before Hector Herrera scored a late winner in the 99th minute. Despite the result, Herdman believes that match proved Canada is now up to par with North America’s best. 

“We left a mark on them in that last game,” Herdman said in a pre-match press conference Wednesday. “And good teams, good players, championship teams, they step up. So we’re not a surprise anymore. So what we’re expecting is a big response from the Mexican team. We’ve got to be able to handle that.”

Herdman added that he saw a ‘little bit of fear in the Mexican team’ in that epic match and predicted, ‘they’ll raise their intensity, we’ve got to bring ours if we want to get this result’.

This time, however, Canada will enter the match without several key players, including goalkeeper Milan Borjan, captain Atiba Hutchinson, former Orlando City SC forward Cyle Larin and Vancouver Whitecaps striker Lucas Cavallini. Minnesota United goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair has been called up as Borjan’s replacement. 

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