USA’s Donovan concentrating on back-up performance against Slovenia

USA winger Landon Donovan knows the team’s hard-fought 1-1 draw with England means nothing if they cannot back it up with a win over Slovenia on Friday.
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USA winger Landon Donovan knows the team’s hard-fought 1-1 draw with England means nothing if they cannot back it up with a win over Slovenia on Friday.

Team USA have a great chance to push for a Round of 16 berth with three points against Slovenia and the magnitude of the game is not lost on Donovan who says the players must work just as hard as they did in the England game.

"In all likelihood, if we lose [to Slovenia on Friday], we are out of the tournament. That's the reality of the situation. As much as people put into the England game, this becomes a lot more important in that way,” he said in a press conference at the team’s South Africa camp.

"We haven't always done well coming off a good result and continuing that, and so that was part of the feeling in the locker room that, 'Okay, that was a good start but it doesn't mean anything if we don't get through the group.' "

Donovan added that a workmanlike attitude would help the USA overcome a determined Slovenia outfit.

“There is nothing flashy about them,” he added. “There are not a few players like with England where you go, 'We need to 100 percent stop that player or else we are in trouble.' But they seem to be a very good team overall. They seem like they have good chemistry and they know each other well. They've obviously played a lot of games together. They have played difficult European qualifying and come out of it. They are just going to be solid; they are not going to be spectacular and they are going to be difficult to beat."