Spirit so high in Brazil squad Willian has supported me taking his place – Coutinho

The Liverpool man says new coach Tite has given the Selecao its swagger back after leading the side to three consecutive World Cup qualifying victories

Brazil star Philippe Coutinho says new coach Tite has handed a desperately needed confidence boost to the five-time world champions.

The Selecao were left reeling from two disappointing Copa America campaigns directly following their shock 7-1 defeat to Germany at World Cup 2014 and were struggling in qualifying for World Cup 2018 when former coach Dunga was sacked in June.

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His replacement, Tite, has since led Brazil to three successive victories to get their qualification campaign back on track and Liverpool man Coutinho says the former Corinthians man has already had a huge impact on the side.

“The confidence has returned,” Coutinho told a press conference. 

“We are training a lot on positioning and tactics and in games we everything has flowed just like it has in practice. This has been very important for us.

“Tite is a coach who keeps all the players focused, everyone feels important. Even when you don’t play, he’s always talking to you and when you get the opportunity you are ready to do what he asks.”

After two years of waiting in the wings, Coutinho appears to have finally cracked the first team this month after replacing Willian in the starting line-up, and says the Chelsea midfielder’s support and encouragement speaks volumes of the feel-good atmosphere that has now engulfed the group.

“We did not talk about it a lot, but when I scored Willian was the first to come and congratulate me – that shows how important our friendship is,” Coutinho said.

“A lot happens in football. Things happen quickly. It’s a healthy dispute, one taking place in a united group. 

“We all have to be an option. I do not know if I will continue to play. If I have the opportunity right now, and will give my best. Being in the group is a privilege for me, as is playing alongside Willian.”

Brazil travel to Caracas to meet Venezuela on Tuesday. The Selecao sit second in Conmebol World Cup qualifying at the halfway stage, one point behind leaders Uruguay.

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