Ecuador coach Reinaldo Rueda hit out at the media on Tuesday for claiming certain players have already been ruled out of the FIFA World Cup.
With the deadline for final 23-man squads set for June 2, Rueda does not plan to cull his provisional group of 30 until after Ecuador's friendly versus Mexico on Saturday but that has not stopped the Ecuadorian media from speculating.
The likes of John Narvaez and Angel Mena (both Emelec), Cristian Ramirez (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Cristian Penilla (Barcelona SC) and Oswaldo Minda (Chivas USA) have been named as likely to miss out on a World Cup spot but Rueda dismissed suggestions he has already made up his mind.
Rueda explained that the game against Mexico will be the 'ultimate test'.
"No one is off the team yet. A few players are on standby," the Colombian coach said.
"I am unhappy with this irresponsibility and these comments because they are damaging to the players. They are not off the team they are on the list of 30."
Injury clouds hang over Narvaez and Penilla, plus Universidad Catolica striker Armando Wila, Dynamo Moscow midfielder Christian Noboa and LDU Quito goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez.
After the friendly versus Mexico in Texas, Ecuador will play England in Florida on June 4, before starting their World Cup campaign against Switzerland in Brasilia on June 15.
Honduras and France will be Ecuador's other opponents in Group E.comments