Luis Enrique hits outs at Spain’s critics after their shock defeat by Japan, as he insists his team have only dropped their ‘remarkably high’ level for 10 minutes at the World Cup… and ‘are not going to change’ style of play against Morocco
Luis Enrique has defended his side’s style of play after Spain’s shock defeat in their final group game against Japan at the World Cup.
After thrashing Costa Rica in their opening match, and then playing out an entertaining draw with Germany, Spain were expected to pick up three points against Japan to wrap up top spot in Group E.
La Roja took the lead in the first half, but then conceded two goals in quick succession after the break to fall behind, and struggled to create chances to get back into the game. Spain have been criticised for their lack of cutting edge, but Enrique has hit back at his team’s doubters ahead of their last-16 clash with Morocco on Tuesday.
Spain were beaten by Japan in their final group match as they conceded twice after half time
The team have been criticised after their loss, but Luis Enrique has defended his players
Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Monday, Enrique said: ‘We had ten bad minutes, yes. Ten out of 270. You always look at the bad.
‘If I stick with the performance in this World Cup, we are [at a] remarkably high [level] except for 10 minutes.’
After finding the net seven times against Costa Rica, goals have been harder to come by in Spain’s last two matches.
The European giants appeared to run out of ideas in the latter stages of their loss to Japan, despite having 82 per cent possession during the contest.
Yet Enrique is happy with the side’s approach, and has no intention of altering his tactics in their first knockout game.
Spain started the tournament well before losing to Japan, and Enrique has insisted his team will not change their style of play
‘We are not going to change the idea. But that does not mean that we have to dominate the 90 minutes, because we play against high-level teams, players and coaches. We do not play alone. And we play against Morocco, which is a great team.
‘We are going to play the same, we are not going to change,’ Enrique reiterated.
Spain enter Tuesday’s match as favourites, but look set for a stern test against a Moroccan side that beat Belgium and Canada to finish top of their group.
This year’s World Cup has already produced a number of shocks, but Enrique is confident his side will come out on the right end of the scoreline if they stick to their principles.
‘I am zero worried about the result. I am worried that the team will do things well. If we do things well, the normal thing is to win,’ he added.