After a commanding performance against Portugal that saw the current Algarve Cup winners slink back a little in the second-half, clearly conserving energy for their remaining Group D games Jorge Vilda was full of praise for his team.
His hat also tripped towards Portugal boss, Francisco Neto for the improvements he’s made to the Portuguese side.
He said: “The game was really difficult, they’re very good defensively – Neto has done a great job with the team, he’s very tactical and made it hard for us – we were better in the first-half; we had a good start; it’s important to have a good start in the tournament.”
After seeing themselves through an early sticky patch where Portugal seemed to have the better of them, with a firm defence and countering plan, Spain found the keys to unlock the door half-way through the first-half and never looked back.
But, knowing they’d have to do their fair share of defensive work this summer, Portugal had no problems dropping deep and reducing the space, Vilda admitted whilst his side wanted to keep something in the tank for later in the tournament they did all they could to find a third goal, to no avail.
“I’m satisfied with the result, the first-half was almost perfect," Vilda added. "Portugal did a great job and in the second-half they were really powerful, we had wanted to score a third goal in the second but Portugal were too tight. We were also thinking about the game against England.”
Eyes on the next
Conversation soon turned to the next game against England who had gotten the better of Spain last time they met last year.
A man not wanting to get ahead of himself, Vilda reminded the Spanish press that Spain would be coming up against a “world super power” and not to be overly hopeful of a game and result yet to be decided.
“We have to be humble, we’re ranked seventh in the world but people are getting too excited, lower your expectations," he continued. "Our goal is to improve; we’re here to improve, we have to keep working hard and focus on England who have proved to be title contenders.”
When VAVEL spoke to Vilda in March after Spain had seen off former world-champions, Japan in their first Algarve Cup game, the coach seemed measured, not willing to look too far ahead, the next game the most important, the Euros far from his mind.
We asked a similar question after the Portugal match and nodding at the memory, the Spain boss reiterated that the next game is his only focus.
He said: “Yes, we love the code “step-by-step” we have to be positive about tonight and focus on England, nothing else.”