Last Updated: 20/06/18 9:23am
Panama have promised to adopt a physical approach in order to “impose” themselves when they play England on Sunday.
The Central Americans were beaten 3-0 by Belgium on Monday in their first-ever World Cup match, meaning they need to avoid defeat against England if they want to realistically keep their hopes of reaching the last 16 alive.
Following his side’s win, Belgium manager Roberto Martinez was unhappy with Panama’s physical style, and expressed concern that the approach could lead to injuries.
However, Panama captain Roman Torres says his side have no intention of altering their approach: “Football is like that – you always have to impose yourself, you have to mark out your territory.
“I think we competed well against Belgium, and I think when there were tackles, they got stuck in just as much as we did.
“England are a bit more direct than Belgium. They try to make use of the pace they have. We’ll need to be compact and limit their space.”
Confidence appears to be high in the Panama camp and, as well as pledging to get tough with England, they have also suggested Gareth Southgate’s side will not pose them as many problems as Belgium did.
Midfielder Jose Luis Rodriguez told The Telegraph: “For me, Belgium are a more difficult opponent than England. England are a big team with very good players but we will try to win.
“I watch Premier League football every week. It is fantastic to play against some of those players and I will try to have a good game.
“It will be difficult to stop England – we have to be well organised – but we will take the same approach against them.”