Luis Enrique backs Spain to stay hungry after historic defeat
DOHA: Luis Enrique believes Spain’s hunger will only increase after they achieved the country’s biggest World Cup victory in a 7-0 thrashing of Costa Rica on Wednesday.
The 2010 champions dominated their penaltyless opponents throughout the game and, in their second match on Sunday, face a desperate Germany side who had earlier lost 2-1 to Japan.
Spain’s previous record victory was a 6-1 victory over Bulgaria in the 1998 World Cup, a match in which Luis Enrique scored for La Roja.
However, while the Spain coach believes that too much flattery can weaken the team’s resolve, he is confident his team will remain steadfast and focused.
“I have no doubt that we will play the next match with the same spirit, if not more,” Luis Enrique told reporters.
“I have no doubts at all. It’s true that praise wears you down, but don’t worry about this group of guys, I see them every day.
“(It won’t happen) because there will be line-up changes, because they want to compete and work hard.
“I doubt it will happen, it never has, this is a group of people willing to do things the right way.”
The coach said he was surprised by Germany’s loss in its opening match in Group E, despite his awareness of Japan’s threat.
The coach said, “The way they started was a surprise, Germany, against Japan, but there are surprises in football, you just can’t tell.”
“Japan is a very good team, it’s a dynamic team, and they have a lot of good and special players.
“You never know in football. We’ll try to win the next game against them (Germany), we’ll try to beat them, that’s the goal.”
Despite the impressive performance at Al Thumama Stadium, Luis Enrique says he plans to change his starting line-up against Germany.
La Roja have plenty of depth on the bench, with players like Barcelona forward Ansu Fati and Atletico Madrid’s Marcos Llorente still in reserve.
Newcomer Alejandro Balde replaced Jordi Alba in the second half and was impressive, while substitutes Carlos Soler and Alvaro Morata scored twice.
“I don’t know who will play,” Luis Enrique told TVE.
“If we achieve our target, which is to play seven games, it will be everyone, not just 11 players.
“I don’t think I’ve ever repeated any line-up and probably never will.”
Ferran Torres scored twice, while the other Spanish scorers were Dani Olmo, Marco Asensio and Javi man of the match.
The team had been criticized in the past for not scoring enough goals and destroying Costa Rica was a timely reaction.
“Many players scored,” the coach added. “I’ve always read that we lack goals, but since we’ve been in charge we’re one of the teams that has scored the most goals. Those are the stats.
“A lot of our players have goals in them. We’re progressing after a lot of link-up games, and I’ve never been so worried about goals.
“We play Germany after that and they have to win and so do we. We’ll celebrate, we’ll go to dinner, and then we’ll start preparing for that match.”
“Praise wears you down, but it’s much better to start preparing for a match like this.”