Jorge Sampaoli's Argentina searching for identity ahead of Croatia clash

Sport360 staff 07:49 21/06/2018
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Jorge Sampaoli admits he has yet to establish a clear footballing identity with Argentina as he prepares to make tactical changes for the clash with Croatia.

The two-time world champions were held to a surprise 1-1 draw by Iceland in their Group D opener after Lionel Messi had a second-half penalty saved.

Coach Sampaoli, who took the job little over a year ago, wants to avoid going into the final group game in desperate need of points and hopes tinkering with his tactics can find a solution.

“We need to move on to the next phase, that’s what we came here for,” he said at his pre-match press conference.

“We don’t want to come to the last match without having resolved the matter, we want to resolve it tomorrow which is why we are going to play with a far more flexible squad and setup than we had in the first match.

“I haven’t been at the helm very long and these players all play in different clubs so it’s hard to establish a clear footballing identity so to speak.

“We haven’t had that much time to develop specific characteristics in our organisation.

“What we try to do is adapt to the situation and slowly but surely we try to develop approaches that generate a style of play.

“We don’t want the structure of the team to hamper individual talent because matches are going to be won by the players.”

Argentina sit two points behind their opponents in Group D following the opening round of matches.

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