Spain boss Julen Lopetegui hailed Isco for “having character when we found ourselves in a pickle” against FYR Macedonia on Sunday.
Spain were sailing at 2-0 up until Macedonia pulled a goal back from nothing, but Lopetegui felt the presence of Isco ensured La Roja did not collapse.
“Getting the three points was our objective and we couldn’t fail,” the Coach said after the game.
“The result is good because it wasn’t easy to achieve the victory, like you could see here and also against Italy.
“We had chances to make it 0-3 and kill the game off, but we weren’t clinical enough and they, from a brilliant piece of play out of nothing, got back into the game.
“At that moment, it was inevitable for the players to look over their shoulders at the scoreboard, but through the football we played and chances we created, we deserved to win more comfortably.
“Fear of the match? No, but real respect, yes. There were many circumstances surrounding the match.
“For example, there were a lot of players on warnings. There were many situations to manage, but the lads managed to do very well.
“Isco? He had a good game. He’s a player that adapts to different positions, combines very well, participates and gets clear chances to score.
“When we found ourselves in a pickle, he had the character to ask for the ball and know what to do.
“Italy? I’m sure there’ll be plenty [of fans] at the Santiago Bernabeu for the decisive match against Italy.
“Those fans will certainly create an environment that corresponds to the importance of the game.”