Alexandre Pato needs to continue good form and not get complacent, says Sao Paulo coach
Rio de Janeiro, Feb 23 (IANS) Sao Paulo FC coach Muricy Ramalho has cautioned striker Alexandre Pato against complacency amid his best scoring run since leaving AC Milan in 2012.
The 25-year-old Pato has netted six times in eight matches for Sao Paulo in 2015 as he aims to regain a berth in Brazil's squad for this year's Copa America, reports Xinhua.
"If he plays on the edge, that will bring out the best in him," Muricy said on Sunday. "He knows that we give everybody a chance. He has come into the team and done well but if he doesn't do well in the next game he will be dropped, otherwise he could become complacent."
Pato is in the final year of a two-year loan deal from Corinthians, who bought the striker from AC Milan for 15 million euros in January 2013. A brace in Sao Paulo's 4-0 victory over Audax Saturday took his tally for the club to 18 goals from 48 matches.
While he is still some way from recapturing the form that once made him one of the world's most promising forwards, Pato is showing a hunger absent in his game in recent seasons.
In a Sao Paulo attack that also includes Luis Fabiano and Alan Kardec, Pato is currently the first striker chosen by coach Muricy.
"Together, (Fabiano and Kardec) find it difficult but Pato provides great movement," Muricy said. "That makes life difficult for opponents and opens up space for teammates. Pato is an deal choice to play alongside both of those players. Every time he is on the pitch with one of those two, we score goals."
Pato has not represented Brazil since the Selecao's 3-1 victory over Portugal in September 2013.
His hopes of a recall will be aided by Brazil's dearth of center-forwards. Among those tested by coach Dunga in the No. 9 position since last year's World Cup are Luiz Adriano, Diego Tardelli and Robinho, none of whom have been convincing in the role.
The 2015 Copa America will be played in Chile from June 11 to July 4.