Another day, another bad mood for Weiss

PRETORIA - Slovakia coach Vladimir Weiss lasted less than 40 seconds in front of the microphones on Monday before waving his hand in despair and stomping off.

It was the second time in three days that Weiss, frustrated by home criticism of his team's World Cup performances, had cut things short after his irritable outburst at a news conference on Saturday on the eve of their 2-0 Group F defeat by Paraguay.

"Back home everybody is just criticising us but we're doing everything we can," his son of the same name told reporters when asked to explain what was behind his dad's bad mood.

"Our journalism and everything around it is a joke. Everybody is annoyed, the players didn't want to come and do the interviews today because it's stupid, really, what's happening."

In a group featuring world champions Italy, a strong Paraguay side and New Zealand, Slovakia were considered by neutrals before the tournament to stand little chance of progressing but locals have imposed higher expectations.

'ARE SUFFERING'

Simply qualifying for their first World Cup seems to no longer be enough for them, said Weiss junior.

"Look at the big teams, they are suffering too," said the midfielder, whose team have drawn one and lost one match.

"We've done something that nobody has ever done before in Slovakia and I just wish people appreciated that a bit more."

Before facing reporters, coach Weiss had sat on a step outside the news conference room holding his head in his hands and wearing a red tracksuit top that mirrored his angry mood.

He reluctantly walked in, looking like he was wishing he was anywhere but there, before firing off a couple of curt replies.

"The opponents were better, that is the obvious answer," he said when asked about the previous day's defeat.

His disposition contrasted sharply with the week before the tournament when he was chatty and happy to reminisce about his playing days at the 1990 World Cup with Czechoslovakia.

Some of the players' moods were lifted thanks to Italy's shock 1-1 draw with New Zealand on Sunday, which has handed Slovakia a chance to progress if they can beat Italy on Thursday and New Zealand get no more than a point against Paraguay.

"After the game we all had our heads down because we thought we had no chance to get to the next round but the draw made a big difference and we're thinking positively," said 20-year-old Weiss. "We've still got a chance."

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