Published: Tue, September 11, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Luis Enrique's first concession to his Spain players

Luis Enrique's first concession to his Spain players

With the likes of Andres Iniesta, David Silva and Gerard Pique all retiring from the worldwide stage, Luis Enrique's starting lineup had only five players who started against Russian Federation in the World Cup last-16 penalty shootout loss.

"As a team you don't want it, to any player you don't want the situation to happen", he said.

A big feature of England's best run at a World Cup for 28 years was how their three-man backline, and Harry Maguire in particular, were able to bring the ball out of defence.

Southgate is expected to make up to nine changes for Tuesday night's friendly against Switzerland, with Spurs' Eric Dier named as captain, and Marcus Rashford and Danny Welbeck expected to start in the absence of Kane.

"It was a good game, it was a real test against a team that keep the ball really well. Some of them are on the back of having a heavy summer so we don't need them to play so much", the former England defender added. Normally the clubs would be holding their breath and hiding behind their sofas watching our team go out, but this is one of those occasions where [me] wanting to look at our squad ties in with doing the right thing with the players for our long-term benefit.

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"I want to be in games that matter, I believe I've been through an experience that is as pressured as you're ever going to face at any club or global team in getting through a World Cup, so I'm totally comfortable with that, and what's beyond that is to be decided".

"We have a disadvantage in that we played on Saturday but the advantage is that we are playing at home and we will get a lot of support", Luis Enrique said. But over the 90 minutes we have to accept that Spain were better than us for long periods of the game.

"I am especially happy about De Gea's performance", said Enrique. We represent England and it's great to play around the country.

"They are a top, top side and I think for spells kept the ball incredibly well, pressed us and we didn't keep the ball in the early part of the game well enough". I thought he had a good game, I saw him train well.

"Your errors sometimes help you, as you try to improve and grow up and all in all I am really happy with David, he is a top player".

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