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New Velez boss Gareca vows to bring back winning mentality

BUENOS AIRES, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Veteran manager Ricardo Gareca has promised to bring a winning mentality to Velez Sarsfield after his appointment for a second spell in charge of the Argentine club.

The 65-year-old faced the media on Thursday for the first time since agreeing to a contract that runs until December.

"The bar is always high at Velez, because it's a great, winning institution," Gareca told reporters.

"People will always demand that we win, and that will be a permanent requirement. We have to focus on improving game after game. I accept the challenge and what I ask people is that the past is past. Do not judge me by what everyone already knows, but by the present."

Gareca led Velez to four titles during his previous period in charge of the Buenos Aires outfit, from 2009 to 2013. He replaces Alexander Medina, who was sacked late last month amid a poor run of results.

His first match in charge will be a home clash against Platense in the Primera Division on Monday.

"I'm more nervous than I was when I started my first spell here," Gareca said. "I don't want to disappoint anyone and for that reason I'm very focused. I'm going to work harder than ever. As the years go by, one feels ready to assume greater responsibility."

A former forward who was capped 27 times for Argentina, Gareca has been out of work since leaving Peru's national team last July.

During his seven years in charge, Gareca guided Peru to 40 wins, 21 draws and 35 losses. The Argentine was hailed as a hero when he led the Blanquirroja to the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals in Russia - the South American team's first appearance in football's showpiece tournament in 36 years.