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Mexico’s youngsters are determined to make an impact in upcoming friendlies against Uruguay and the United States, with regulars like Javier Hernandez, Carlos Vela and Hector Herrera not included in interim coach Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti’s squad.

Fifteen of the current El Tri squad is under the age of 25 and nine players could potentially make their full national team debuts in the upcoming games, with Ferretti indicating that they must show the incoming full-time manager that they are worthy of places in the national team.

“You always work to have opportunities and you have to take advantage as best you can,” said Pachuca’s Erick Aguirre in a press conference on Tuesday. “This is a great generation with hunger, we have to show what we are made of and to make the most of this experience.”

Ferretti has stated on a number of occasions that he is only an interim coach, but Club America forward Diego Lainez is keen to take onboard everything the 64-year-old Tigres coach teaches the young squad and happy he’s been given the opportunity.

“I think it is great they have taken us into consideration being so young,” stated the 18-year-old Lainez. “We’re picking up experience, learning from our teammates and it’s a great opportunity … to show what we’ve got and get international experience with the full national team.”

A debate has started in Mexico as to whether youngsters ike Aguirre, Lainez, Roberto Alvarado and Santos Laguna duo Gerardo Arteaga and Jesus Angulo were brought in prematurely to the national team. Some of the players did not even expect the call-up.

“I didn’t expect it so soon,” said Alvarado, who has shone for Cruz Azul this season. “We’ve been doing good things with our clubs, that’s why we’re here. This is the dream, we are young, we want to transcend and it will always be a source of pride to represent your country.”

As for the permanent Mexico manager, El Tri’s general sporting director Guillermo Cantu refused to rule out Club America coach Miguel Herrera or former Chivas manager Matias Almeyda as candidates for the position, but suggested that Ferretti is close to an ideal fit.

When you do an analysis of which would be the ideal characteristics of a coach, he honestly fulfills many of them,” said Cantu on Tuesday morning. “The fact he’s had 28 uninterrupted years in different institutions, with different projects and with completely different objectives gives you the idea of the versatility of a coach with that experience.”

Mexico will train in Mexico City on Wednesday before flying to Houston on Thursday for Friday’s game against Uruguay.

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