Vicente del Bosque has defended his tactics after Spain advanced to the quarter-finals of Euro 2012.
The reigning world and European champions looked far from their best as they laboured to a 1-0 win against Croatia to finish top of Group C, with substitute Jesus Navas scoring the winner just three minutes from time.
Despite dominating possession, La Roja found it difficult to break down Slaven Bilic’s resilient side, who will feel a little hard done by after they created a handful of clear-cut chances and saw two penalty appeals waved away.
Del Bosque has accepted that some criticism of his tactics is inevitable, but insisted that he saw a number of positives in his side’s display.
“I accept that some people will complain about many decisions I make, but I have seen many good things with this team,” he told reporters at a press conference.
“Yesterday, we controlled the match and I still think they suffered more than us. When I took (Fernando) Torres off, they lost their presence in the middle of the pitch.”
Meanwhile, Andres Iniesta, who set up Navas for the winning goal, stressed that people should have faith in the side after they overcame a difficult match to finish top of Group C.
“People should trust our team. We all would like to win 2-0 or 3-0, but we suffered,” he said.
“We all respect what people think, but we feel good and we’re still in the fight. It will be difficult to defend our title, but at least, with a few days of rest, we will arrive to Saturday’s match properly.”
Spain could face France, England or Ukraine in their quarter-final clash on Saturday, with the deciding Group D fixtures taking place on Tuesday.
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