Mexicans: Time to stop negativity

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JOHANNESBURG, June 25 (Reuters) - The time has come to end the pessimism holding Mexican football back, said two of the team's most experienced players ahead of their last 16 clash with Argentina on Sunday.

"Unfortunately sometimes we don't have the credibility that other countries get. But we'll keep fighting to give some joy to all of Mexico," defensive stalwart Rafael Marquez told a news conference on Friday.

"We're trying to change this mentality to be the best. We have to think like this otherwise we'll remain the same," added the defender, who is set to retire from international football after the World Cup.

The Latin Americans possess fervent support and have always had talented players. Bu they have only twice reached the World Cup quarter-finals, in 1970 and 1986 when they were hosts.

Javier Aguirre's men could again fall at their traditional stumbling block, the first knockout round where they have exited at the past four tournaments.

Goalkeeper Oscar Perez said the negative reviews of the team could work to their advantage.

"Hopefully we'll have enough confidence to use this pessimism to give us a good feeling. It can help," said the 37-year-old.

"We have to change this pessimism, it's not healthy, but everyone has their opinion," he added.