FIFA World Cup: New coach De la Fuente vows to improve Spanish game in future

New Spain national team coach Luis de la Fuente insisted there won’t be any major changes to the way his side plays football to those of his predecessor Luis Enrique.

The former Under-19 and Under-21 coach was named as Enrique’s successor in the job in the wake of Spain’s exit from the World Cup.

Enrique was criticized for the fact that Spain dominated possession in the games but failed to turn possession into clear chances to score.

“The model of play is non-negotiable, but we can adapt the system,” said De la Fuente in his presentation to the press.

“We will try and improve and give what we think can help us improve. We will try to dominate the play, have more shooting chances and move the ball faster. There are good players, who know how to interpret our ideas,” added the coach.

“I like players to have freedom with balance and order,” continued De la Fuente, who believes he is well suited to the task ahead.

“I was a professional player for 15 years and played international football at every level up to Under-21. If anyone knows Spanish football, it’s me. I am a former player and I know what they are thinking and I have no problems in speaking face to face with anyone.”

“All I ask is time and then judge me,” said De la Fuente.

Spain suffered a disappointing last-16 exit at the tournament in Qatar after losing to Morocco on penalties on Tuesday. Before that, they thrashed Costa Rica 7-0 in their opening group game of the World Cup but their possession-based game saw them accused of being “boring” as they drew 1-1 with Germany and lost 2-1 to Japan.

Spain under-21 coach Luis de la Fuente has been recommended for the new national head coach role but his appointment must be approved by the board, who are meeting on Monday.

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