Jorge Luis Pinto (pictured) will make his head coaching debut for Honduras against visiting Venezuela on February 4, 2015. (Photo: Mexsport)
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – Jorge Luis Pinto will make his debut as Honduras’ head coach, when the Catrachos open their 2015 campaign against visiting Venezuela on Wednesday at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano.
Despite conducting only two short mini-camps with the squad, the former Costa Rica manager has already set a level of expectation for the encounter.
“You will surely see an aggressive game, a team that will pressure and will look for the ball,” said Pinto. “I want the team to play more with the ball, that they be together and, above all, that they are aggressive. Those are the three facts that I want to monitor.
“There will be a lot of conviction. There are things that are not perfect, but they can be. We are going to try to play good football. That is what interests me. I want a very compact team that manages its lines well.”
In nine previous meetings between the sides, Venezuela holds a 4-3 advantage in wins, but Honduras has come up victorious in the last two (2011: 2-0, 2014: 2-1). Even though the Central Americans have experienced those relatively recent successes, Pinto is expecting a difficult evening.
“It’s logical that Venezuela does not have a full roster,” remarked the 61-year-old Colombian, adding, “but I think that with the players they brought, it is a demanding and hard team, motivated, and like us, ready to fight. Remember that they are preparing themselves for the Copa América and their players will give it their all.”
Pinto is pleased by the manner in which he has been received by the players and views their attitude as a great launching point.
“They have been very receptive, although there are always new things that can be picked up, but they have been very available and giving 100 percent of themselves in their work,” he noted. “I hope to take advantage of that.”
Pinto also conveyed a special message to all Honduras supporters: “The message is that they have confidence in our work, that we are going slowly, that nobody is perfect, that there will be difficult moments that they should understand them, and that we are going to look to build a team for the World Cup.”
Clearly, the Pinto era is ready to start.