'Serious' attacking issue not just down to strikers, Mexico coach says

DOHA, Nov 29 (Reuters) - The lack of goals is a "serious" issue for Mexico but the blame should not be just on their strikers, coach Gerardo Martino said ahead of Wednesday's must-win World Cup Group C match against Saudi Arabia.

Toothless attack had been a concern for Mexico ahead of the World Cup and they are yet to score in Qatar, with the team rooted to the bottom of their group with one point after a 0-0 draw with Poland and a 2-0 defeat by Argentina.

Mexico reached the last 16 in each of the previous seven World Cups, but they risk getting knocked out of the group stage should they fail to beat Saudi Arabia.

Asked if he was worried about the team's poor form in front of goal, Martino told reporters on Tuesday: "Right now, this is serious because we need to score in the game tomorrow.

"What happened during the last year was due to different reasons as we had our attacking players facing physical issues. Some of them are in good condition at the World Cup, but this is not just about attackers. We all share our responsibilities.

"It is up to the whole team not just certain positions."

Pessimism surrounded Mexico as they prepared for the World Cup after inconsistency in qualifying and warm-up matches, while fans have also been critical of their Argentinian coach, who is under immense pressure to turn around their fortunes.

Midfielder Andres Guardado said the players believe they have a chance of qualifying to the knockouts.

"When you get a blow, you need to digest it and turn the page quickly," Guardado said.

"We have a big chance to forget the defeat against Argentina with a big game against Saudi Arabia. We believe in our chances and nobody is saying it is impossible."

Saudi Arabia pulled off a major upset when they defeated Lionel Messi's Argentina 2-1 in the opening game, but Martino said he is not afraid of the Arab side.

"We respect our opponents and are not unaware of what they did against Argentina and in the first half against Poland. I don't have a fear, when we compete we don't feel fear," he said.

(The story has been corrected to update the score of Argentina v Saudi Arabia)

Reporting by Manasi Pathak; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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