Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has defended his decision to use Cesc Fabregas in attack.
After Spain’s 1-1 draw at Euro 2012 with Italy in Gdansk, the former Real Madrid coach hit back at claims playing the Barcelona midfielder as a ‘false No.9′ ahead of other strikers in the squad was wrong.
When quizzed on how he felt the experiment went during the encounter, Del Bosque was pleased with Fabregas’ impact in the role, including the equaliser, but hinted the team functioned better after the introduction of Fernando Torres.
“Cesc did very well in that position. When Torres came on, the game was much more open. We had more chances to score, but they, too, lest we forget. Time will tell if this (the system) is good for us or not.
“We did a good job, it was a good effort. We are relatively satisfied with the result.”
Del Bosque felt Fabregas linked well with fellow forwards David Silva and Andres Iniesta.
“I preferred to dominate the midfield – to take possession and go from there,” he added. “Silva, Cesc and Iniesta did very well in between the lines on many occasions.
“The Italians were not limited to just retreating, which we knew from the beginning. I knew that Italy were going to press high up the pitch and wanted to take the lead.”
Del Bosque was also highly critical of the playing surface at the PGE Arena.
“The pitch being so dry doesn’t do much of a favour to football or for the spectator,” he said.
“If the pitch had been quicker, we would have seen a better match.”
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli was happy with the point but disappointed with the equaliser.
Prandelli made an inspired substitution in replacing Mario Balotelli with Antonio Di Natale early in the second half, as the Udinese forward opened the scoring.
“The result was a fair one. Our intention was to play the game, not just contain our opponents,” Prandelli told Rai Uno.
“The draw? There is regret at seeing our lead slip. In a few days, we have changed our attitude both physically and mentally. We played as a team and well.”
Prandelli was then asked for his opinion on the showings of Antonio Cassano and Balotelli, both of whom were subsituted after the break, adding: “They played well too, they didn’t score but they helped the team; that was what I asked of them.”
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