Canada boss Herdman: We're going to 'F' Croatia

PATRICK T. FALLON / AFP / Getty

Canada head coach John Herdman delivered a bullish speech on the pitch following his side's unfortunate 1-0 defeat to Belgium on Wednesday, putting Croatia - the Canucks' next World Cup opponent - firmly in the firing line.

"I told (my players) they belong here," Herdman revealed when quizzed on the content of his address, "and we're going to go and 'F' Croatia. That's as simple as it gets."

Les Rouges outperformed Belgium for much of their group opener but fell short due to Michy Batshuayi's goal near the end of the first half. The 1-0 reverse marked Canada's first appearance at the men's World Cup since 1986.

Canada is still yet to collect a point or score a goal over four matches on international football's biggest stage.

Stat Canada Belgium
Attempts on goal 21 9
Attempts on target 4 3
Entries into final 3rd 56 22
Possession 46% 54%

Croatian media asked Herdman at Thursday's training session if his words underestimated the 2018 World Cup finalist, but the Englishman said his foul-mouthed speech was nothing more than an "impassioned moment" designed to inspire his team.

"I mean no disrespect to the Croatian team and Croatian people, but at the end of the day, it's a mindset that Canada is going to have if we're going to have three points against one of the top teams in the world. And it's the mindset we took to Belgium," Herdman explained, as quoted by TSN's Matthew Scianitti.

"We have to - it's part of 'New Canada.'"

Canada meets Croatia - which drew 0-0 with Morocco in its first match of the tournament Wednesday - on Sunday before concluding its Group F commitments against Morocco on Dec. 1.

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Canada boss Herdman: We're going to 'F' Croatia
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