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Ledesma: 'I'll face my critics'

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Ledesma wants to keep Argentina job despite worse finish since 2003

Argentina coach Mario Ledesma indicated he would like to remain in charge of the national team despite a disappointing World Cup campaign.

The Pumas failed to make it out of their pool for the first time since 2003, losing out to England and France in Pool C, but ended their tournament with a 47-17 victory over the United States in Kumagaya on Wednesday.

The result ensured Argentina’s qualification for the 2023 World Cup, but that was of little consolation to the 2015 semi-finalists. Asked about his future, Ledesma said: “Many critics that I faced but it is really important to have a good perspective in our future.

“We have just played our match, we had a red card in the England match, so we need to look back on many things. We can’t just look forward in one way. As a coach, I work on tactics and skill, control player emotions and have cohesion in the team and bring in other forces from outside as well.

“We have to look at every phase, so we need to go out of our country and play many matches to improve and to watch other sports to learn from them.”

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Ledesma insisted qualification for the next edition of the tournament had not been a motivation. “Motivation comes from inside of us,” he added. “We have worked hard for the last week and prepared in the last week.

“There were young players playing and there may be some players not in the next World Cup, so it’s their last match and they are not concerned about qualification to the World Cup in France.”

USA coach Gary Gold believes his side have improved over the course of the competition despite currently occupying the bottom of Pool C with no points with one match remaining. “I’m just disappointed in the outcome but really proud of the effort from the guys,” he said. “I think even the biggest cynic could see how hard the guys tried and how hard they worked.

“We had an unbelievable opportunity to take advantage of the scoreboard and we didn’t, unfortunately, score in that moment in time. That’s how rugby works. It’s a game of momentum. That will come with the more time we spend together and the more time we play together. I do believe we’ve improved game on game.”

– Press Association 

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Ledesma wants to keep Argentina job despite worse finish since 2003