Spain's Ginés Meléndez refused to allow his players to dwell on their achievement after a textbook display of attacking football overwhelmed Austria.
Spain's Ginés Meléndez refused to allow his players to dwell on their achievement after a textbook display of attacking football earned a 5-0 victory against Austria in the semi-final of the UEFA European Under-19 Championship. Spain will take on Scotland in Saturday's showpiece in Poznan, although the coach did manage to find time to think of two very different figures in the aftermath of victory. For Austria's Paul Gludovatz, there was some consolation in defeat in the knowledge that a place in next year's FIFA U-20 World Cup had already been secured, and unsurprisingly the charismatic coach preferred to look forwards rather than back.
Ginés Meléndez, Spain coach
Before the tournament our very first objective was to win a place in the first three of our group, which would take us to the World Cup in Canada next year. It's very important to have reached the final as we have already won a medal whatever happens. Now we really need to try a lot and do our best on Saturday, this competition is of great importance for our association. When the match finally ended, my first thought was for was two people: the first my mother, the second Iñaki Sáez. I've told my players they absolutely have the right to be happy, but this should not make them too euphoric because our minds now must be on the final; I said if they play well in the final, even if they don't win the trophy, there is absolutely no problem. My team will need good mental strength against Scotland so that they don't think that the match will be won so easily as last week in the group stage when we beat them 4-0.
Paul Gludovatz, Austria coach
Our aim was to get to half-time with the score still level, but we weren't able to do that. I'm honestly quite disappointed by the final score, and especially how we defended; there were almost 20 passes that went astray and that's not the football my team can play – although Spain of course are an excellent team. Before this tournament finishing third in the group would have been realistic for my team, so it's a bonus for us that we will participate in the World Cup next year. This will certainly be a good experience for the players, but I recognise we need to improve our physical preparation in particular over the next year. What we should also do better is to send people to other matches in order to follow the opposition and analyse their game better.