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Aragonés notable by his absence

Published: Thursday 13 September 2007, 10.35CET
Spain captain Iker Casillas insisted that nothing was amiss despite coach Luis Aragonés's refusal to meet the press after Wednesday's victory against Latvia.
by Lucy Turner
from Barcelona
 
Published: Thursday 13 September 2007, 10.35CET

Aragonés notable by his absence

Spain captain Iker Casillas insisted that nothing was amiss despite coach Luis Aragonés's refusal to meet the press after Wednesday's victory against Latvia.

Spain captain Iker Casillas insisted that nothing was amiss despite coach Luis Aragonés's refusal to meet the press after Wednesday's 2-0 win against Latvia.

Absent coach
Rumours that the veteran coach was about to resign spread fast after Aragonés failed to attend the post-match press conference following the home victory which left his side second in Group F and on course for UEFA EURO 2008™. Xavi Hernández and Fernando Torres goals in either half earned the points but they were to be overshadowed partly by their coach's absence after the game.

'Nothing has happened'
"Absolutely nothing has happened," said Real Madrid CF goalkeeper Casillas. "I don't know why this has caused so much of a stir. He thought it appropriate not to talk and that's all. The atmosphere is positive and people got behind the national team." Valencia CF midfielder David Albelda added: "We were obviously the better team but we had to prove it on the pitch. We missed lots of chances to score more goals and that's a regular symptom. Maybe we are suffering for playing too many games."

Starkovs impressed
Aragonés received support from his opposite number, Latvia's Aleksandrs Starkovs, after the final whistle. "I want to congratulate the Spanish coach on this success," he said. "It was an important game for Spain and we did what we could against a strong opponent. I thank my players for the pressure they put on the Spaniards. We're building a new national team and it's still not working that well."

Final denouement
Spain play all the other top sides in the section in their remaining Group F matches, starting with a trip to Denmark on 13 October. They then welcome leaders Sweden, who are level on points with Aragonés's men yet have a game in hand, on 17 November before getting the chance to avenge their 3-2 defeat in Belfast when they finish their campaign at home to Northern Ireland on 21 November.

 
Last updated: 13/09/07 18.47CET

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