Spain's defeat damages team mood entering Euros - Vicente del Bosque
GETAFE -- Spain coach Vicente del Bosque admitted to a big disappointment which had damaged the mood around the squad after his side's final pre-Euro 2016 warm-up brought an embarrassing 1-0 defeat at home to Georgia on Tuesday.
The first half at Getafe's Coliseum Alfonso Perez saw Spain have lots of possession and come close when Thiago Alcantara curled a shot off the post. But then a Sergio Ramos error lead to a rare Georgia attack and midfielder Tornike Okriashvili beat David De Gea from close range.
Del Bosque made all six substitutions and his team improved after the break, with substitute Andres Iniesta to the fore. Nolito, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba all could not find a way past replacement visiting goalkeeper Roin Kvaskhvadze, and a team ranked 137th in the world pulled off a famous victory against a side aiming to win a third straight European Championship in France this summer.
The veteran La Roja coach told his postmatch news conference that the plan for a rousing send-off before the tournament had not at all come to pass.
"It is true that today we were looking for more confidence, to create a good atmosphere around the team," Del Bosque said. "It was not like that, just the opposite, a big disappointment the truth. We did not play really bad, but we were not accurate in attack, incapable of breaking through the very well organised Georgia defence.
"We should not try and justify the result, but accept it, we have extraordinary challenge ahead of us, and this result does not change that.
"It is a bad result for us, but it should not hurt our enthusiasm ahead of the tournament, or cause any fear for what is ahead."
Del Bosque admitted he had not been happy with the performances of midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara, both withdrawn at half-time, and the team had improved with Andres Iniesta and David Silva sent on.
"In the second half we were not so bad," he said. "In the first half we were too similar in the centre of the pitch, with Cesc, Thiago, Busquets and the centre-halves. We had too many people in the same zone of the pitch, we let [Georgia] get back and not give up any spaces.
"In the first half we did not understand the game. In the second it was better, Iniesta was able to take on people, break through the lines.
"But this game does not change anything -- after a defeat like this, those who did not play are always [seen as] the best."
Del Bosque rejected the idea that, if opposition teams did not know already, Vladimir Weiss' Georgia side had shown just how to stifle Spain and hit them on the break.
"The good part was how secure we were in possession, we dominated the game, although we should have scored," he said. "I would like for all games to be played in the opposition half -- I always say that, and I hope the three opponents we have now play just like that."
Previous friendlies had brought good results in beating Bosnia 3-1 and South Korea 6-1, and Del Bosque said all their good work in preparation for the Euros had not been ruined in one friendly defeat.
"What we have done until now is not ruined by today," he said. "We have to analyse things. We should not be fully pessimistic, we did some things well, pushed them right back. But the most important part -- in attack, we did badly.
"That they can score always enters in what is possible -- but that we were not able to score ourselves is a big disappointment."