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Honduras know they must improve if they are to avoid flight home

Jerry Palacios last night acknowledged that Honduras must improve on their display in their opening group match or they will be knocked out of the World Cup.

The Hondurans were well beaten by France as they began their Group E campaign and face Ecuador this evening.

Another defeat at the Arena da Baixada will end their hopes of extending their stay in Brazil - a fate which also threatens Ecuador following their opening day loss against Switzerland.

Palacios, who was a substitute in the defeat by France, remains adamant that confidence is still high among his compatriots but is acutely aware of the threat to his side.

"Many people expect that we will win and play well. The truth is that the group is very strong," said the 32-year-old forward. "We are committed to the country. We know that we have possibilities: six points are still up for grabs.

"We are in a World Cup where all the matches are finals and we ask the people that they keep supporting us and having confidence in us. We know that we can give more and against Ecuador we are going to show it."

Palacios' brother, Wilson, was sent off against France as a result of two yellow cards and is suspended against the South Americans. However, there will be another familiar face in attendance since Ecuador head coach Reinaldo Rueda was the man who led Honduras to the World Cup finals in South Africa four years ago.

"It is something that has been on our minds since December, when the draw was made," he said. "Obviously, it is a match I would have preferred to have avoided.

"I love the people of Honduras very much and the love I have for them will always be there, even though we have a very intense 90 minutes ahead of us. I think they play better football now, and I like the team a lot more than I did when I was in charge."

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