SHAFAQNA – Midfielder Cesc Fabregas has hit back at criticism levelled against Spain’s new-look team and pleaded for time following a surprise Euro 2016 qualifying defeat by Slovakia. Spain have introduced several new players after they failed to defend their World Cup title in Brazil and results have been mixed, with a victory over Macedonia in their opening Euro qualifier coming between a friendly defeat to France and Thursday’s shock result.
They have an opportunity to get back on track with another Group C clash against Luxembourg on Sunday after the Slovakia result led to captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas and striker Diego Costa coming under fire.
“In difficult moments we need to ignore what is being said about us, it doesn’t interest us and we need to be more united than ever. The media have different interests to us,” Chelsea player Fabregas told a news conference.
“We need to keep trying and looking to play our football and we will get it right. Hopefully it won’t take too long.”
Midfielders Xavi and Xabi Alonso and striker David Villa, who were core players in Spain’s period of dominance when they won European championships either side of their 2010 World Cup victory, all retired from the international game after their failure in Brazil.
“We want to play a style of football which is not easy to achieve,” Fabregas continued. “There have only been three games since we lost some very good players and people are making out it is more like 20.
“There are new faces that have to settle in but they will pick up the ideas, the different style and we will get going.
“Other teams like France, Italy and England have all been given time and that is all we need. We will improve and we will get the results. Obviously we rely on results. Decisions are made and then we live by the results of those decisions.
“We respect that people have the right to have opinions but for us we are just concentrating on the jobs that we have to do.”
Team mate Gerard Pique felt it was important that Spain maintain their trademark passing game that has brought them success in recent years.
“There are always debates when we lose, but there shouldn’t be any discussion about our style of play,” he told a news conference.
“It would be an error to change with the players that we have. Our style is all about possession and touch.”
Pique also had to respond to questions over comments he made backing a possible referendum on independence for Catalonia. He denied that his views conflicted with him representing Spain.
“I am only defending rights for Catalans, we are talking about a question of democracy which I think is important to defend. It is something totally different to me playing football and I always enjoy being with the national team where I give everything,” said Pique.
“I express my opinions because I am a footballer and a citizen. When I feel I should express myself I will and this doesn’t affect my profession.”
(Editing by Toby Davis)
Source : Reuters