Spain debutants win praise

Vicente Del Bosque was delighted with the performances of debutants Isco, Cesar Azpilicueta and Mario Suarez after Spain beat Uruguay 3-1 in an international friendly at the Khalifa Stadium in Qatar.

Last Updated: 07/02/13 at 09:06 Post Comment

Pedro Rodriguez and David Villa: Celebrating for Spain

Pedro Rodriguez and David Villa: Celebrating for Spain

Cesc Fabregas' early goal was cancelled out by Cristian Rodriguez, but a double from Pedro Rodriguez in the second half meant that the Spaniards left the pitch with the victory.

But despite the goals being scored by more experienced members of the squad, the Spain coach had a special mention for the players making their debuts.

"They are all players who are going to increase the quality of our squad, and they have adapted to the group very easily, with no problems at all," said Del Bosque of Azpilicueta, who started the game at right-back and completed the 90 minutes, plus Isco and Suarez, who came on as second-half substitutes.

"They did what was asked of them, and they were showed the characteristics which made us call them up to the squad in the first place," he added.

Del Bosque also praised goalscorer Pedro, who has netted nine times in his last six games for La Roja.

"He's a dynamic player, who knows exactly what he needs to do on the pitch, and he's got this incredible pace, which is vitally important in the modern game," he said of the Barcelona forward.

"We played some good football for some moments in the game and in the first half we lacked a bit of attacking depth, but Pedro gave us some speed."

Overall, Del Bosque was pleased with his side's performance but was wary that Uruguay had tested them.

"I think we had some good moments, but they showed their strengths. They were difficult to break down in defence and they were strong on the counter-attack, and we had to be careful of their attacking midfielders. They threatened us and were dangerous," he said.

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said the match benefited his players, even though they were unable to get a positive result.

"It's good for the team to play matches like these, against the world and European champions," he said.

However, Tabarez stressed that the most important thing was for his team to focus on gaining ground in their World Cup qualifying campaign, in which they need to drastically improve on recent results if they are to earn a place at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

He said: "We have two difficult games against Paraguay and Chile, then we have to go to Venezuela and then we have a friendly against France. We have earned the right to play these types of games [with European sides] but the most important thing is World Cup qualification."

"We have had some awful past few months and we've lost our footing in the qualifying group, and now we have to improve and recover our form.

"But we have a good squad, and that is positive."

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lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

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