Fortaleza (Brazil) (AFP) - Mexico boss Miguel Herrera insisted Saturday that Manchester United's Javier Hernandez remains a key player for El Tri despite not yet starting a World Cup match.
Hernandez came off the bench to register his first international goal in a year as Mexico sealed their place in the last 16 with a 3-1 win over Croatia, and Herrera said he would get another chance to shine from the bench against the Netherlands in their last 16 tie on Sunday.
"He has been an important factor for the group and I am grateful he has never given up," Herrera said at Mexico's pre-match press conference.
"He could think he should start but those that have started have done very well and given us great results.
"My gratitude to him is that he is always waiting and also comes on with a great attitude, great determination and will also be a danger for the opponents."
Dutch coach Louis van Gaal pleaded earlier in the day for there to be water breaks during the game due to the intense heat and humidity in Fortaleza, and Herrera is hoping the conditions favour his side more than the Europeans.
"The heat and humidity affects both teams but we might adapt better because we play in the same conditions at some places in Mexico.
"We also have Mexicans playing in Europe, though, so it is difficult for them to play in these conditions too. The team will give their all and hopefully the conditions will be in our favour."