Focus is on Pumas, not Concacaf

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA, April 5.- Jesús Dueñas, UANL Tigres midfielder, told the media that the squad’s focus isn’t on the Concacaf Final, but on the UNAM Pumas, their next Liga opponent.

Dueñas explained that the idea is to earn another three points this Saturday and share the leadership with León, to continue at the top of the Liga MX and qualify to the Playoffs.

“Our focus is on Pumas (not on a Local Concacaf Final). We want to earn the three points we need to draw level with León. We want to finish in first place in the Liga (MX), the loss against América really hurt us, particularly because of the way it happened.

“But we know that life offers second chances and we have one against Pumas. These three points are crucial to assure our qualification.”

Reaching the Final wouldn’t be enough…

“No, I’ve always said that the directors and the fans want to see their team fighting for the title. I think it’s always come together well; the team invests every season so they won’t just be satisfied with reaching the Semifinal, but humbly compete on an equal standing with anyone.

“We know that by working hard and giving our all on the pitch, we achieved the scores we wanted right from the start. The team has been consistent, which has allowed us to reach second place.”

We are blessed…

“I’ve always said that we are blessed to be experiencing these moments, to be champions in some tournaments. We can’t think about the Final yet as there’s still another game to go. It’s happened to us in other tournaments and in Concacaf, that the score turns around because we’ve neglected to do things.

“I think the team is looking strong, focused. We want the title, but we’re taking it step by step, first Pumas, then Santos. We can’t be overconfident but need to be prepared for whatever lies ahead.”

Does Tigres generate animosity because of its achievements?

“I don’t know. I’m enjoying being able to win championships, qualifying to the Playoffs. The team has been very humble and we’re enjoying ourselves. We’ve never laughed at anyone. God willing, we’re one objective away from competing in a Final, but no one has given us anything.

“So, that’s why the team is where it is. We have a lot of experience, we’re humble, hard-working and when we win, we celebrate with our people and families; all of this has kept our feet firmly on the ground.”

Great or small…

“I’ve heard a lot of comments about whether they’re great or small. I’ll speak to you as a fan, you must stop thinking about whether or not they’re great, but try to enjoy yourselves, the teams from Monterrey, and Santos who have been in Finals, each fanbase needs to enjoy themselves.

“We’re very close to being able to play in another Final, we don’t know whether it will happen again, but what’s most important is to enjoy ourselves. We’ve never won an international tournament, so we pray to God that we’ll achieve this. We’ll talk about this when the time is right. All the clubs’ fans should be enjoying themselves instead of insulting each other.”

Gignac’s return…

“It’s very important for André and for everyone else, he’s a striker together with Enner, Vargas, Quiñones, Aquino, all extremely important players, and what could be better than having the whole squad now that the Liga is coming to an end and we’re just days away from competing for a place in the Final, better than everyone being on top form. The team has the capacity to participate in two tournaments, since whoever has played has done a good job.”