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Uruguay hope Suarez will be fit for England match

June 15, 2014 17:28 IST

Uruguay hope Suarez will be fit for England match

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Uruguay are hoping Luis Suarez will be fit enough to help them revive their World Cup hopes against England on Thursday after a shock 3-1 loss to Costa Rica in Saturday's Group D opener.

Coach Oscar Tabarez said Uruguay, with Suarez asking to stay on the bench, were caught out by moves they had not faced for a long time and need to restore their badly dented image.

"This was a very tough match in the first half. In the second half they took advantage of all the opportunities they had," Tabarez told reporters.

"It was a tough loss for us, the way we lost, with goals stemming from plays that we haven't suffered in a long time.

"We'll have to digest that rapidly. The team is having a more difficult beginning (then expected).

"We have an image to defend," said Tabarez, whose team reached the semi-finals in South Africa in 2010, South America's best performance at the tournament.

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Image: Luis Suarez
Photographs: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

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'He is important and his potential can help the team'

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Suarez has recovered from knee cartilage surgery carried out last month but remains short of match fitness and practice.

"He is indeed a player that I count on, but he hasn't been able yet to play at competition level during training. He asked to stay on the bench," Tabarez said.

"Should he meet all the expectations, he will be able to enter the field because for us he is an essential player. He is important and his potential can help the team.

"We were not able to put him on the pitch for sure. Now we have four more days until the game against England.

"Always the person comes first (before the player). If he improves, we will put him in the match."

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Image: Luis Suarez (right) sits on the bench
Photographs: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

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'Costa Rica is a rival of many virtues'

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Uruguay face England in Sao Paulo and complete their group programme against Italy in Natal on June 24.

Tabarez praised Costa Rica, who they narrowly beat in a playoff in 2010 to qualify for the finals in South Africa.

"Costa Rica is a rival of many virtues, some of them were shown on the pitch and some of them we weren't able to control," he said. "They controlled the game tactically.

"I can't say it was a surprise. I don't know what is the maximum Costa Rica can give, but they played very well today."

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Image: Costa Rica's players celebrate after their victory against Uruguay
Photographs: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

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