Canada v Guatemala: Floro seeks to develop winning mentality

Benito Floro is keen for Canada to develop a winning mentality as they meet Guatemala in an international friendly on Friday.

Canada take on Guatemala on Friday with both sides looking to build momentum ahead of the start of their World Cup qualifying games and this year's CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Guatemala have never qualified for the World Cup while Canada have made just one appearance, back in 1986, and they start their respective qualification campaigns for the 2018 tournament in June.

Benito Floro's Canada face the British Virgin Islands or Dominica in the second round of qualifying, while Guatemala begin their bid for a place at the finals in Russia against either Bahamas or Bermuda.

Attention will then turn to the Gold Cup a month later with both teams keen to make an impression. Guatemala did not qualify for the 2013 tournament while Canada were eliminated in the group stages with just a point to their name.

On paper it is Guatemala who head into this game at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as favourites to overcome Canada and go further at the Gold Cup. 

Guatemala reached the final of the Copa Centroamerica in September last year before losing 2-1 to World Cup quarter-finalists Costa Rica and are ranked 34 places above Canada at 82nd in the world.

But Floro is keen to use these upcoming games to install a winning mentality in his squad.

"We have two priorities for this camp," Floro said. "The first is to work hard on tactical concepts like pressing, combined attacks, defence, and our offensive and defensive set pieces.

"At the same time, we need the psychological attitudes to get results. We need to have a good mentality."

A particular focus on defence may be needed in order to stop Guatemala, who will be led by a veteran striker and record goalscorer in Carlos Ruiz with 57 goals to his name in his international career.

And Floro feels testing themselves against sides like Guatemala and Puerto Rico - who they face three days later - will prove vital in Canada's preparations for competitive matches.

"Every day we are together is very important to us because it is the best way we have to practice our game situations," he added.

"Speaking about this camp, this is very important because it is the last one before official games so we need to use it to practice several things."