Menezes: Brazil fans must back team

GOIANIA - Brazil coach Mano Menezes defended his tactics and did not appear to be too concerned after his team was jeered off the field following a 0-0 draw at home against the Netherlands.

Since Menezes replaced 2010 World Cup coach Dunga, Brazil have beaten the United States, Iran, Ukraine and Scotland but lost to Argentina and France before drawing with the Dutch on Saturday.

Brazil were booed at half-time and also at the end despite a good second half in which they did not score thanks to Dutch goalkeeper Tim Krul but Menezes said playing such difficult opponents was the best way to prepare for the 2014 World Cup on home soil.

"I prefer hard reality to get to 2014 in good shape. I could have chosen much easier rivals, we'd have seven wins, everyone would be happy, but we'd be kidding ourselves about the future," Menezes told reporters.

The match at the Serra Dourada in Goiania was a rare home appearance for Brazil.

With most of their top players based in Europe and foreign commercial commitments, the vast majority of their friendlies are played abroad.

However, with the Confederations Cup in Brazil in 2013 and many national teams wanting to visit the country staging the next World Cup, Brazil will be playing more often in front of their home fans and Menezes wants more of their support.

"I understand the fans' behaviour (on Saturday), but we need to educate them so they realise we are facing great rivals and that at a delicate moment in the game we need them to push us and not pass over to the other side," he said.

"We'll face only big teams in the World Cup... it's nation against nation, our footballing tradition against theirs and we need to be united to benefit from our advantage of playing at home."

Brazil also favour a return to a more attacking game and a gradual renewal of the team with young players like gifted 19-year-old Neymar making his home debut against the Dutch.

"Brazil, in their third meeting with a top national team had a performance that confirmed our evolution," he said after 1-0 losses to Argentina and France.

His team's first big test will be in next month's Copa America in Argentina where they will be defending the title they won in 2007. They have another warm-up against Romania in Sao Paulo on Tuesday.