Nothing wrong with Spain, says Cazorla
MADRID (AFP) –
Midfielder Santi Cazorla has dismissed suggestions that Spain’s era of success could be coming to an end after they only managed a 1-1 draw at home to Finland on Friday in their 2014 World Cup qualifier.
It was the second consecutive home qualifier that the reigning World and European champions have failed to win after France also snatched a draw back in October.
However, Cazorla believes that against packed defences all they lack is a little variety to turn their dominance in possession into chances.
“It doesn’t make any sense to now doubt this team just because of a draw,” he told a press conference on Sunday.
“You cannot speak of the end of an era, the team has hunger and wants to keep winning titles.”
“In the last game we lacked some things, we need to have more variation. We need to ensure that all the possession the team have is transformed into chances.”
Friday’s draw also allowed France to open up a two-point lead at the top of Group I.
And with just three games to go after the two meet in Paris on Tuesday, Spain will most likely have to win in midweek to ensure they won’t have to qualify through the playoffs in November.
“The problem is that we have less margin for error, but we always go out to win,” Cazorla added.
“We know we will have to play a great game against a good team who are in form.
“It is true that we have committed errors that have cost us four points, but this happens in football and we need to win in France and recapture first place.”
There was also bad news on the injury front for Vicente del Bosque on Friday as Jordi Alba finished the game with a hamstring problem that has ruled him out of the meeting with France.
However, Cazorla’s Arsenal clubmate Nacho Monreal said he is ready to take his chance if selected to replace Alba in the Stade de France.
“It is a very important game. Jordi’s injury on the face of it opens the door for me, although we don’t yet know who is going to play.
“If I have my opportunity, I will try to give my best because we are playing for a lot in this game.”
David Silva will also be suspended after being booked in the dying moments against Finland, but Del Bosque is hopeful of having both Xabi Alonso and Xavi back fit after both missed Friday night’s game through injury.