Lopetegui defends Costa & De Gea

Julen Lopetegui insists Diego Costa was not static against Switzerland, David de Gea will ‘carry’ Spain after his mistake and that ‘there are many positives’.

Costa’s performance was criticised on social media for being too passive during Spain’s 1-1 draw on Sunday, while De Gea’s misjudgment gifted Switzerland their equaliser.

“Iniesta’s ovation? It’s something that he’s earned,” said the Coach after his side’s World Cup dress rehearsal.

“The most important thing was the match he had. We took him off because we planned to.

“He played very well and that’s best for us. What matters most to us is what he still has to give us.

“Lack of goals? The team did many good things and we weren’t successful with the chances we had, but our intensity, rhythm and consistency against a team like Switzerland was the most important thing.

“Surely we would’ve taken half of the chances we had another day. The team did many things well to create chances against the Swiss.

“I liked how we were able to create many chances and that we didn’t grant them many in returns.

“It’s what we’re looking for, the team maintained a very high level to keep up the pressure at the opposite end.

“We had to adjust a few things at half-time, but there are many positive things to take forward.

“Odriozola’s performance? Everyone did well, Azpilicueta also had a great game as a centre-back. Alvaro’s feeling very confident and his goal was good for him.

“When we don’t win, there are always good things and things we comment on. There are always things to improve on, but we’re in the very early stages of our preparation. We have to keep working and preparing.

“Options up front? We can play with Iago out wide, it’s an alternative. We have forwards with different characterstics and they can play together.

“Was Costa too static? No. Thiago? He had a great match. Busquets fell ill and Thiago delivered in his position.

“De Gea’s mistake? David knows that I know he’ll carry us through many games, no doubt about it.”

Tags David De Gea Diego Costa Julen Lopetegui Manchester United Spain Switzerland