FORTALEZA Brazil (Reuters) - Brazil are coping well with the pressure of competing on home turf, coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said on Thursday, playing down concerns some players were too distressed after a nerve-wracking win over Chile.
Several of Brazil's team were clearly on edge as Saturday's match went to penalties, which they won 3-2, with keeper Julio Cesar and captain Thiago Silva crying in front of millions of TV viewers and raising concerns about their emotional state.
As news surfaced on Tuesday that a psychologist went to visit the squad at their training ground, those worries grew in local media ahead of Friday's quarter-final against Colombia.
"You're wrong in these interpretations. For God's sake, please stop thinking that so and so goes there only for specific reasons. That's all wrong," Scolari told a news conference at the Castelao arena, cutting off the reporter asking the question.
"It's all scheduled, organised. She will go there again Sunday or Monday. She has participated in a very cool way," he added. "It's a broad conversation, open, calm, together with the players."
Scolari is confident about Brazil's chances of winning the trophy but expects a difficult game against Colombia who are the second-highest scorers in the tournament, trailing one behind the Netherlands who have netted 12 times.
He echoed a comment by technical director Carlos Alberto Parreira, who said before the finals started that Brazil had "one hand on the Cup".
"We continue (with one hand on the Cup). We're on our fifth step, there are seven," he said.
Brazil won't switch from their zonal marking system to man-marking against Colombia, despite attacking midfielder James Rodriguez being tournament top scorer with five goals so far.
"We're not going to do special marking, we're going to be playing sectors as we've always been playing," Scolari added.
Silva expects Colombia's approach to offer opportunities to Brazil's strikers because of their free-flowing playing style.
"For me what's good is a team that comes to play against us. Technically, the Colombian team has a differential in that sense because they have the skills to play, and in theory that helps our team," Silva said. "It will be a open match."
"We have to remember when we're dominated, we can't concede goals. We have to strike."
(Reporting by Elzio Barreto; Editing by Ken Ferris)