Injury-hit Portugal must respond, says Veloso

Portugal midfielder Miguel Veloso said his side must bounce back from a horrific start to their FIFA World Cup campaign in Brazil.

Veloso and his team-mates were thrashed 4-0 by Germany to begin Group G in poor fashion, with Pepe (suspended), Rui Patricio (thigh), Hugo Almeida (quad) and Fabio Coentrao (thigh) all unavailable for their clutch battle with the United States on Sunday.

Almeida and Coentrao have been ruled out of the group stages altogether, which could mean the end of their World Cup stints respectively with Paulo Bento's men on the brink of an early exit due to their horrid form and run with injury.

Cristiano Ronaldo has also been under an injury cloud, but trained on Thursday and is expected to be fit for their match in Manaus.

Veloso rued Portugal's injury crisis, but insisted he and his team-mates remain focused on getting a result that keeps them in knockout-stage contention.

"About the group of course we're sorry for the injuries, for Rui, Hugo and Fabio," Veloso said.

"As far as I know unfortunately Fabio had the most serious injury. 

"So the first two days (after the loss) were not easy considering the bad result against Germany but as I said before we have to focus in USA game, since our only option is winning this match."

Veloso refuted the suggestion his side were too reliant on Ronaldo, who is coming off a long season with Real Madrid.

"I agree that we have the best player in the world (Ronaldo), and when he's got the ball he can make a difference, and he does, and the defensive players get afraid when he's got the ball, and that's a benefit for us," Veloso said. 

He added: "And I also think that there were not only negative things happening against Germany. 

"We had good moments, not so good ones. 

"The penalty was not an excuse because we are responsible for what we did, our focus now is the match against the USA and we have to win because it's very important for us."