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Del Bosque mulls over Tuesday's defeat to Croatia

"The route to the final now isn't ideal but you never know where the danger will come from", Spain's coach reflected. Spain end the group stage in second place.

Del Bosque mulls over Tuesday's defeat to Croatia
Sergio PerezREUTERS

Vicente del Bosque reflected on Tuesday's defeat to Croatia which means the defending champions end second in their group and now face the task of getting past Italy in the Last 16: "It's annoying but we haven't been eliminated. he route to the final now isn't ideal but you never know where the danger will come from", the coach explained to reporters after the game. "I've no need to tell you that it's worrying to have lost this match. We had the game in the palm of our hand. I don't want to go over the top in defending our performance but we didn't play badly - everyone contributed their part. We shouldn't be allowing ourselves to suffer a lapse in concentration like the one which resulted in the second goal, but I have no complaints about the players".

Given the chance would you repeat the same XI? "The players are tired, which is normal in this heat and when your rivals put you under pressure. The players were at a good physical level for this game. We drew up the XI based on the confidence we have in the player's physical levels because we could find ourselves in a slightly better situation".

Ramos taking the penalty: "We have a few penalty takers and the one who is feeling the most confident takes the kick. It's a decision which is made depending on what is happening on the pitch and doesn't necessarily have to inolve the coach".

Will the players be able to bounce back after this? "The ideal scenario would have been to end top of our group but now we have to recover physically and mentallly. These are highly-experienced players and they know how to turn situations like this around".

De Gea: "He didn't have a great deal to do, we can't blame him for the goals. The first came from a counter attack - as did the second. We're all to blame".

Do you see Croatia with a chance of going all the way? "There's one of the teams who are playing the best football, as  I said yesterday and it's true. They made five chancges today, they refreshed the team and played really well - loosely and with quality".


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