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Croatia take note of Canada coach John Herdman’s comment after the World Cup game ” Alaska

DOHA, Qatar — An emotional John Herdman appeared to have given Croatia some bulletin board footage ahead of their World Cup showdown with Canada on Sunday. Immediately following Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat by second-placed Belgium – a game in which No.

DOHA, Qatar — An emotional John Herdman appeared to have given Croatia some bulletin board footage ahead of their World Cup showdown with Canada on Sunday.

Immediately following Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to second-placed Belgium – a game in which No. 41 Canada dominated the game but failed to score – Herdman shared what he had said to his players on the field in the post-match.

“I told them they belong here and we’re going and eff— Croatia,” he said with a smile in the official FIFA interview after the game. “It’s as simple as it gets.”

A loss to No.12 Croatia and Canada’s hopes of progressing to Group F’s knockout rounds are dwindling.

Asked about Herdman’s comments, Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said that everyone has their own style of communication.

“I’m not sure how nice it is to say something like that, but it’s his right,” he added through an interpreter. “I think we have to show on the pitch that we’re better.”

On Thursday, a Croatian reporter asked Herdman for his comment.

“After yesterday’s game, did you really say you were going to the F-word Croatia?

Herdman didn’t back down but was more diplomatic this time.

“Great question,” he said. “And yes, I have. You say these things in a passionate moment and try to inspire your team in a scrum. And if you’re asked what you said in that scrum, yes, that’s what I said.

“It’s not massive for (the) Croatian people and the Croatian national team. I understand very well where they stand on the world stage. But at that moment, you have moved your men to the next location. You’ve taken your team to the next place – that we’re here to be fearless and to bring everything we have to this game.

“I don’t mean disrespect to the Croatian team and Croatian people, but at the end of the day it’s an attitude Canada will have if we want three points against one of the top teams in the world. And it’s the mindset that we took with us to Belgium. We must. It’s part of ‘New Canada,'” he said, referring to the label he had given his team.

When asked about his take on the Croatia team, Herdman called his midfield trio “the best in the world” and said it was a privilege to play against Luka Modric, whom he described as “arguably the midfielder of the generation of his time”.

“And these (Canadian) men are getting a chance to compete against him and we’re excited.”

Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on November 24, 2022

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

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