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Pato confident goals will come at Copa America

Pato confident goals will come at Copa America

Brazil striker Alexandre Pato is not getting frustrated by his lack of goals in the Copa America and is confident he will find form soon.
Pato missed opportunities as Brazil struggled in its first two matches, but he remains optimistic that things will start going his way in the South American competition. Brazil needs a victory or a draw against Ecuador in its final group match on Wednesday to advance from the knockout round.
"I've been trying hard in all matches, but the ball is just not going in," Pato said Tuesday. "I've been putting in a lot of effort but it's just not working out. It's normal for a striker, though, the goals will come with time."
The AC Milan striker arrived with the responsibility to be Brazil's main striker in the Copa America, and coach Mano Menezes said before the tournament that he was confident Pato would come through.
But the 21-year-old struggled along with the rest of the Brazilian team. Despite some clear scoring chances in the first two matches, Pato was not able to capitalize on any of them.
"I accept the criticism and I understand the pressure," Pato said. "We need to score more goals and I know it comes down to the striker, but soon I will start scoring again. It's just a matter of time."
Trying to win its third straight Copa America, Brazil has scored only two goals. The team drew 0-0 with Venezuela and 2-2 with Paraguay 2-2, with goals by midfielder Jadson and Fred, who scored a last-minute equalizer after replacing Neymar.
"I have to keep my head high and keep working hard," Pato said. "I'll keep looking at what went wrong so I can fix it and do better in the next match. If I keep working hard, I will start scoring again."
Pato is Brazil's top scorer since Menezes took over the squad after the team's elimination at the World Cup last year. He has three goals and has been a constant selection in the coach's lineup.
He knows he needs to pick up the pace quickly, though, especially after Fred came through with the crucial equalizer against Ecuador. Fred said he is "ready to play if needed" and will do all he can to find his place in the starting 11.
"We are all prepared and we all want to show our value," Pato said. "But that's up to Mano, I'll accept any change if it helps the team. If the team wins, then everybody wins."
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Updated : 2020-12-02 16:08 GMT+08:00