Maradona Happy With Form

Argentina coach Diego Maradona is delighted with the way the his side have responded since his appointment in November.

Maradona took over after the departure of Alfio Basile and has led the Albicelestes to two friendly wins, 1-0 over Scotland shortly after his appointment and 2-0 over France a fortnight ago.

In particular, Maradona has been impressed by the form of Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano, Bayern Munich defender Martin Demichelis and Real Madrid’s Fernando Gago.

“The team have understood what I want, that we must represent the strong traditions of Argentinian football wherever we go,” he said. “Now we must keep improving.

“I was very happy with the form of my guys against France. In that friendly, a lot of positions were consolidated.

“Mascherano, Gago, Demichelis…their form were very close to being perfect.

“The players understood my message and it’s a credit to them.”

Argentina resume their World Cup qualifying campaign on March 28 when they face Venezuela in Buenos Aires before they travel to La Paz to face Bolivia, some 3,600 metres above sea level.

Maradona said: “The base of the squad for the Venezuela and Bolivia matches will be the current one, with two or three exceptions.

“We won’t change too much. As for the altitude, we must face it, not fear it.”