Mexico can secure a place in the Confederations Cup semi-finals by avoiding defeat against the hosts Saturday

Juan Carlos Osorio believes Saturday’s Confederations Cup clash with Russia in Kazan provides his Mexico side with the perfect chance to silence their critics.

Osorio’s men have come under fire back home for scraping a late point against Portugal in their opener and then having to come from behind to see off a plucky New Zealand side 2-1 on Wednesday night.

A clash with the tournament hosts – who need a win to go through to the semi-finals – looks tricky on paper but Osorio thinks it is the perfect game for his players to prove their mental fortitude by claiming the point they need to advance.

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The Colombian said: “We’re human beings so there are certain situations in which we are more affected by words than others. 

“Everybody has their own opinion so we just accept what people say and we try to learn from positive criticism and the others, we just accept them.

“One of the best things about this beautiful game is everybody understands football but games are something completely different.

“In terms of the Russia game, I honestly think it’s a perfect scenario for Mexican football. We are playing away from home against the host nation with a lot of support from their fans and who are fighting to qualify.

“We need to control the game and show to ourselves that we can compete under such difficult circumstances, take a step forward and keep growing as a team so we are capable of playing against any team and any style.”

Hector Moreno Oswaldo Alanis Mexico Chris Wood New Zealand

Veteran winger Andres Guardado was less diplomatic when against about the critics, adding: “The players are not affected by such comments.

“Some of us have been playing for the national team for a long time, it’s always like this.

“We just concentrate on what we have to do, try to win and get through to the next round.

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“Whether we are doing well or not people will always criticise us so we [the players] don’t care what they say.”

Defender Carlos Salcedo has returned home after suffering a shoulder injury against the All Whites while Hector Moreno will undergo a late fitness test.