Pumas players let Puente del Río down, says Liga MX club’s captain
Speaking to reporters ahead of this weekend’s Clausura 2023 clash with Atlético San Luis, Nicolás Freire said the Pumas players failed the club’s former boss.
As Pumas prepare for their first game under new head coach Antonio Mohamed, team captain Nicolás Freire has conceded that the players must take their share of the blame for the departure of former boss Rafael Puente del Río.
Puente del Río was fired in March after just under five months in charge, following a run of two wins in 12 games in the Clausura 2023 tournament.
Pumas skipper praises Puente del Río
“Day in, day out, he [Puente del Río] gave us the tools to improve,” Freire told reporters on Thursday. “He and his coaching team couldn’t have been more professional.
“We let him down. The results wouldn’t come. I told him one to one not to stop working. Doors will open for him.”
Pumas’ season can still end well, Freire insists
Pumas, who sit 17th in the regular-season standings, host Atlético San Luis on Sunday looking to keep their hopes of a postseason place alive.
With four games left in the Clausura 2023 regular season, Los Felinos can no longer book a direct ticket to the playoffs, but remain within two points of the preliminary-round qualification spots.
“We really believe that things can still turn out well for us,” Freire said. “A lot of people say that it’s not about how things start, but how they finish.
“The first step is San Luis, then we have América, Toluca and Rayados. It’s not so long ago that we made it [into the playoffs] by the back door and we knocked out América, who had finished the regular season as leaders.”