Palacios calls for improved display

Honduras manager Luis Fernando Suarez will take on his former side Ecuador at the World Cup

Honduras manager Luis Fernando Suarez will take on his former side Ecuador at the World Cup

First published in National Sport News © by

Forward Jerry Palacios knows Honduras have no option but to put on an improved display against Ecuador on Friday if they are to keep their World Cup dream alive.

A 3-0 defeat to France in Porto Alegre, where goalline technology was used for the first time at a World Cup, means another failure against Ecuador at the Arena da Baixada will bring an end to any slim hopes of getting out of Group E.

Palacios, a substitute against France, insists confidence within Luis Fernando Suarez's squad is strong as they prepare to face former manager Reinaldo Rueda.

"Many people expect that we will win and play well. The truth is that the group is very strong," Palacios, 32, said on www.concacaf.com.

"We are committed to the country.

"We know that we have possibilities - six points are still up for grabs.

"We are in a World Cup where all the matches are finals and we ask the people that they keep supporting us and having confidence in us.

"We know that we can give more and against Ecuador we are going to show it."

Midfielder Wilson Palacios, brother of the Alajuelense forward, was sent off against France for two yellow cards and so will be suspended.

The match in Curitiba will have the added intrigue of Rueda taking on the team he guided to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the first time Honduras had reached the finals for 28 years.

Suarez, meanwhile, was in charge of Ecuador at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where La Tricolor made it through to the last 16.

The two men are good friends, but will set that aside for 90 minutes at the Arena da Baixada.

"It is something that has been on our minds since December, when the draw was made. Obviously it is a match I would have preferred to have avoided," Rueda said to www.fifa.com.

"I love the people of Honduras very much and the love I have for them will always be there, even though we have a very intense 90 minutes ahead of us."

Rueda added: "It is going to be such a tough game for us, and we will be giving it all we have got for 90 minutes.

"But after it is all over, we will go back to being friends and we will remember all the lovely, positive things we shared with the Honduran team and fans."

Suarez also accepts there will be some mixed emotions.

He said: "We achieved some great things together (in Ecuador) and I wouldn't be surprised if there is some sort of show of affection on the day of the game.

"However, it is a different side to mine now, they have got a lot of new players, which is an indication in itself of how much they have progressed.

"I think they play better football now, and I like the team a lot more than I did when I was in charge."

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