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Slovakia v Paraguay - Weiss keen to prove his place
20/06/2010  by PA
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Vladimir Weiss, son of the Slovakia coach of the same name, says he will continue to work hard to maintain the respect of his team-mates.

The Manchester City winger, who ended last season on loan to Bolton, is expected to retain his place tomorrow against Paraguay at the Free State Stadium.

Weiss, 20, was impressive in the opening Group F match against New Zealand which ended in a 1-1 draw.

He said: "It is difficult being the manager's son. He did not choose to be the manager and then I got into the team.

"I knew it was going to make it harder for me with my dad being the manager. But the players are okay with it and everyone is being as professional as they can be."

Weiss senior admitted he is probably tougher on his son than the rest of the squad.

He said: "It is not easy to coach him because he has an individual way of playing.

"He has strengths but also weak points. I think I am more strict with him than other players."

Slovakia, in the finals for the first time, face a Paraguay side that drew with world champions Italy after coming second in their qualifying group behind Brazil.

Weiss, who could be sent out on loan by City again next season, insists the team have forgotten about losing two points against New Zealand after their stoppage-time equaliser.

He said: "The manager has been very positive and told us just to focus on the game tomorrow.

"There was a lot of stress in that first game and some criticism back home after the result.

"But we are here to enjoy ourselves and with a little bit of luck we can do something against Paraguay."

Weiss is aware they will have to be on their guard against striker Roque Santa Cruz, his Manchester City team-mate.

"Roque has been bothered by injuries...he is natural goalscorer. He is big man, very strong and difficult to shake off the ball," he added.

"We know what he is capable of but it is not all about him as Paraguay have a lot of good players."

Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino played down the absence of Roque Santa Cruz as his players went for a stroll at the Free State Stadium .

Santa Cruz has been troubled with a leg muscle injury and only played a small part in the draw against Italy in their opening game.

There were renewed concerns about the Manchester City striker's fitness when he did not join the rest of the squad as they got a feel for the pitch.

While Martino refused to be drawn on whether Santa Cruz would start, he explained: "Roque had the option whether to come or not and decided to stay at the hotel."

The Paraguay players looked laid back as they took pictures at the stadium and made calls on their mobiles.

However after they shocked Italy, Martino has told his side not to be complacent when they meet Slovakia.

He said: "They have good technical ability and pose a different test for us, so we will have to adapt.

"Even if we win there is no guarantee we will qualify. What we have to do is work better with the ball than we did against Italy.

"I am not sure how far we can go in the tournament but tomorrow's game will be a good indicator."

For left back Claudio Morel it is a further opportunity to showcase his talents as he is being released by Argentinian side Boca Juniors.

But for the moment he is only concerned about helping his nation in South Africa.

He said: "The issue about not having a club is not the foremost thing on my mind.

"We have a dream in Paraguay and after the World Cup I can focus on my career.

"Our motivation is to defend our country's colours and show we can be the equals of Brazil and Argentina."

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