Ander calls for no let-up from Spain

Ander Herrera warns that, despite Spain's position of relative comfort in Group B, they cannot afford to let complacency creep into their game against Ukraine this weekend.

Ander Herrera (left) has been a midfield dynamo for Spain in Denmark
Ander Herrera (left) has been a midfield dynamo for Spain in Denmark ©Getty Images

If Spain's 2-0 victory over the Czech Republic on Wednesday was an affirming moment for Luis Milla's men, it has also allowed them to approach their Group B finale against Ukraine with a degree of comfort.

Not that they will be preparing for Sunday's game with any less intensity according to Ander Herrera, one of the side's standout performers against both England and the Czechs.

"At a championship like this, and particularly against teams of the calibre of the Czechs, there are no easy games. So we deserve a lot of credit for the win," said the midfielder, newly acquired by Athletic Club from Real Zaragoza. "But we haven't achieved anything yet. Although we have four points, we still have a game to play and have to continue doing the right things."

Ander has been the link between Spain's immovable midfield anchor Javi Martínez and the fantasy of playmaker Thiago Alcántara. Whether working back in support of his defence, moving the ball through the middle or getting on the end of attacks, the 21-year-old has been a ubiquitous figure.

Javi Martínez, the captain, likes what he has seen from Ander and the rest of the Spanish selection. "The team have played well from the first day – we are playing good football, knocking it around nicely, and against the Czechs we won quite convincingly. We started well and got the two goals, and with that kind of advantage you can relax," said the Athletic stalwart and new club-mate of Ander.

"We have now come through two finals and have one left to reach the semis," continued the 22-year-old of the Herning encounter, which Ukraine must win in order to progress. "The Ukrainians won't make it easy for us, so we have to forget about the Czechs and make sure we are right for this next test."

Left-back Didac Vila Rosello, making up for time lost on the AC Milan sidelines following his winter transfer from RCD Espanyol to Italy, is eager to prolong Spain's Jutland campaign. "We have to continue playing the way we have been, although we have the security of knowing a draw will be enough to take us to the semi-finals," the 22-year-old said.

"We have defended well so far and we are always trying to push up and help the midfielders. Personally I love getting forward and I'm really enjoying it."