Saturday November 12 2016
Lopetegui hails team effort

Julen Lopetegui hailed Spain’s team effort against FYR Macedonia on Saturday in light of their numerous absences.

Spain were without Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba and Andres Iniesta for the visit of Macedonia but nonetheless ran out 4-0 winners to ensure they remained top of Group G in 2018 World Cup qualifying.

“Morata took a knock, but it seems no more than that,” the Coach said after the game.

“What’s essential is that we play like a team. We had casualties, but it was also an opportunity for other players to be on the pitch. The most important thing is the team.

“Vitolo? He’s been a regular and that’s because he’s responded to what we’ve asked of him.

“He’s playing well for his team and us. He gives the feeling that he always wants to learn more and physically he’s equipped. That mentality will ensure he keeps improving.

“Problems in defence? Each centre-back has their own characteristics. Macedonia were great opponents.

“It’s true that they succeeded with the first balls, so we must monitor these plays [in the future].

“Difference between the first and second halves? At first, our opponents had more energy and spirit.

“That meant every time they got the ball back, they could cause us problems. Overall, we had a good first half but our finishing was lacking. In the second half, we had more clarity.

“The match against England? It’s true that the three points were played for tonight, and now we have a fantastic game against a great team like England.

“We want to compete and do well, but we’ll start making decisions later.

“Callejon? He’s a player who’s been here before. We’re delighted with him. He only got a few minutes, but we’re very happy with his performance. He’s in our plans.”

Football Italia website