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21 Jun 2010 10:12
Having dominated their opening game against Switzerland but still lost, Spain will remain true to their stylish instincts come what may in their remaining pool games, starting with Honduras on Monday.
“If we go down we will do so remaining true to our ideas,” insisted star striker Fernando Torres.
“The important thing is to stick to our style, which is what makes us win,” insisted Torres, who will be looking to partner David Villa in attack after starting the opener on the bench as he returns to full fitness after ankle surgery in April.
“We must not go crazy and start changing things but retain our confidence in the qualities which have made us one of the favourites,” added the 26-year-old defiantly.
Against the Swiss, Spain dominated possession but fell to a single sucker punch and now must beat the Hondurans and also Chile to ensure they do not make an embarrassing early exit.
Vicente Del Bosque’s side crushed allcomers in their qualifying programme and are the reigning European champions, their Euro 2008 triumph bringing their first silverware in four decades and suggesting they had overcome their apparent psychological inability to deliver despite bags of potential.
Torres insisted there is no need for Spain to start questioning its game plan.
“We are not going to start playing a long ball game, or put pressure on our opponents by pinning them in their own area or being cagey and staying back—that is not the Spanish way.
“We have to plug into our players’ qualities.”
And yet that was the recipe used against the Swiss which failed.
Torres maintains that “we stuck to our game plan of getting the ball and hoping a gap would open up—we knew they would play deep and things developed as we had expected,” Torres said.
“We had chances but we didn’t score and that was that.”
Normally, the Spanish can be as good as guaranteed to score—as an average three goals a game in qualifying suggests.
Now Honduras will look to spring a surprise of their own—or else face an early flight home having lost to the Chileans.
“Honduras will sit very deep—but they have dangerous people on the counter attack,” Torres warned, insisting that the Central Americans would have to look for a goal themselves and would likely leave gaps to be exploited by Spain’s stellar midfield.
“The thing is for us not to start worrying about things,” said Torres—advice he could equally give his England clubmate Steven Gerrard as they face their own do or die showdown against Slovenia.
Torres says Del Bosque has been keeping his cards close to his chest regarding his team selection for the match at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.
“He has not given us any indications—but we will all be ready and will give 100%,” Torres stressed.
“We are relaxed. We have had tough times before and come through and we will this time.”—AFP
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