Head coach Ricardo Ferretti (pictured) has already led Tigres to the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. (Photo: Andrea Jimenez/Straffon Images)
ZUAZUA, Mexico – Tigres would like to end the 2016 Liga MX Apertura regular season much in the same way it began the campaign – on a lengthy unbeaten streak.
A stunning 11 games without a loss (6W-5D-0L) ignited the season, but third-place UANL has won only once in its last four matches and currently sits third with a 7-6-2 mark. The last two of those outings, however, ended in a 3-1 win at fellow 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinalist Pumas and was followed by a 1-1 home draw against local-rival Monterrey.
With two games to go and a playoff berth nearly clinched, head coach Ricardo Ferretti wants his side to stay focused and not succumb to complacency.
"It's positive because during all these past dates, we sought and achieved the points necessary in order to have advancement virtually assured at this time,” said the 62-year-old. “We can’t forget that from third place we can go to seventh. We’re going to take the last games with the same seriousness that we took the previous 15.”
Next up for Tigres is a visit to first-place Club Tijuana (10-3-2, 33) on Friday, followed by a home match against Querataro (4-5-6, 17) at the Estadio Universitario.
"It's what we want (to close at home),” Ferretti remarked. “First, to finish the tournament well as we are looking one of the four places and once in the playoffs different things happen. I hope that we can now give happiness to our people and ourselves.”
The top priority, though, is getting a result against a Club Tijuana side that is 7-0-0 at home.
“It’s the ‘superlíder’,” finished Ferretti. “It’s a team that is doing things very well. At a time, we were fighting with them for first place in the table. They took off and I think it will be a very difficult match. They are qualified and we are still looking for qualification in a better place.
“They are in their stadium. Anyone in its own stadium is a different proposition, but we have to see that they are a team that has found a good balance. They are not reckless in wanting to go on the attack. I think it’s going to be a good game in the offensive aspect.”
Tigres has won only once in its last eight games against Club Tijuana.