Spain coach Luis Milla praised his team's "personality to fight back" after watching England halve La Roja's lead before the four-time winners ran out 3-1 victors in their Saint-Lo semi-final.
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After emerging victorious from a last-four encounter in which his side dominated possession, Spain coach Luis Milla said he was relieved to have secured a 3-1 win against an England team denied the chance of appearing in a second successive UEFA European Under-19 Championship final. Opposite number Noel Blake bemoaned England's failure to execute the basics right but hailed his squad's "mini-achievement" in reaching the semi-finals.
Luis Milla, Spain coach
We knew it was going to be very difficult and that's how it turned out. We saw before the game that England are a very strong, physical team. When they have the ball they are capable of doing something dangerous. In the end we stuck to our style and were able to control and do things our way. We suffered a bit in Turkey during qualifying with difficult games, having to fight during every match right until the end. What I've always been happy with is the team's personality to fight back and in a sense we had to do that today.
England's goal did a lot of damage to us but our players showed what they're all about by emerging in the second half and retaking control of the game. After the break England made a few changes and were looking to cause us problems, seeking space behind our defensive midfielders, but we countered that with changes of our own. With regards to the final we realise it will be very tricky. When you get to this level you know your opponents are here on merit but we will prepare well as always.
Noel Blake, England coach
You always feel really disappointed when you lose a football match and it's no different today. I've no problem with the result; they may have scored one or two more goals but we gave it a good shot. We created some dangerous situations in the game and obviously wanted to get to the final but it wasn't to be. It's funny really because we started well. Their goalkeeper was forced to make a good save in the opening minutes. We then stopped doing the basics well enough.
If you look at the goals again you'll see we gave the ball away and the opposition hurt you when you do that. But we failed trying to do the right things and I'd rather see my players doing that. Since I've been with England this is the best youth team I've seen at getting the basics right. There are a number of individuals who have done really well for us and if we get four or five players to progress from this, well, that's the idea. They've shown enough promise to warrant staying in the system. To finish in the top four teams in Europe is a mini-achievement for us.