The official website for European football

Lopetegui praises Spain's winning mentality

Published: Thursday 6 June 2013, 21.00CET
Spain coach Julen Lopetegui said he was delighted with the mentality of his side after they kept their patience and focus before striking late to beat Russia in the Group B opener.
by Simon Hart
from Teddy Stadium

This content is streamed in such a way that it is protected and available only in a Flash format. Your device seems not to be compatible with our Flash video player.

Match statistics

SpainRussia

Goals scored1
 
0
Attempts on target4
 
0
Attempts off target13
 
1
Corners8
 
0
Fouls committed8
 
19
Yellow cards0
3
Red Cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 21/03/2013 14:41 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
Published: Thursday 6 June 2013, 21.00CET

Lopetegui praises Spain's winning mentality

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui said he was delighted with the mentality of his side after they kept their patience and focus before striking late to beat Russia in the Group B opener.

Julen Lopetegui, Spain coach
We had a very difficult match today, Russia played cleverly and made it difficult for us to find space. We had four, five chances to score but couldn't get the goal. Russia are a good team, they are strong physically, tactically. The most important thing was our mentality, we kept trying to score and express our style and we were delighted to get the goal. We maintained our attitude, our concentration until the end knowing what we had to do with and without the ball.

We know we've not done anything yet. We have three points but the difficult bit is to come. We're moderately satisfied but tomorrow we'll be moderately worried because we'll be thinking about the next match [against Germany]. We have a spectacular match against a spectacular opponent on Sunday.

What I'm most pleased about, aside from the result, is the mentality of the lads. It is not easy to play these games because your heads can drop when you're on top and you have the ball but you're missing chances and it won't go in – that's when your intensity can drop and when they can get a goal. In the first half they had one shot and I thought it was going in.

We're worried about Sergio Canales [who suffered a suspected hamstring injury]. We'll have to look at his situation.

Nikolai Pisarev, Russia coach
We planned that [performance] – playing open football against Spain would not be wise and I am pleased with our tactical discipline and defensive play. We just hoped to grab a goal on the counterattack but it didn't happen. [Denis] Cheryshev is sometimes used as a centre-forward by his club and we tried to exploit his speed but we don't have so many options up front. We will definitely be pleased to add the two additional players [Alan Dzagoev and Fedor Smolov] who will be joining our squad.

We had several newcomers and the first match against such opponents can be daunting. From time to time, you produce a very good performance in your first game and then things go wrong, but we'll try to do it the other way this time. The second match will definitely be different from a tactical viewpoint – if we lose, the tournament will be over for us so you will see changes in our starting XI and our approach.

Last updated: 10/06/13 1.01CET

http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2013/matches/round=2000188/match=2010947/postmatch/quotes/index.html#lopetegui+pleased+with+spain

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA European Under-21 Championship logo and trophy are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.