Luis de la Fuente warns Spain against complacency in final Euro 2024 qualifiers

By Sports Desk November 15, 2023

Spain coach Luis de la Fuente insists his side have plenty of room for improvement and they are not taking for granted their final Euro 2024 qualifiers against the weakest opponents.

Despite having secured qualification, along with Scotland, the games against Cyprus and Georgia still carry significance as they will decide who finishes top of Group A.

And if De La Fuente needed any extra incentive to stress the need not to be complacent, he was reminded of Spain’s shock 3-2 defeat to Cyprus 25 years ago.

“I get a chill when I think about it, it was bad news,” he told a press conference.

“The results of the past are the past, we want to look to the future and play all the games without half-measures.

“Experience tells me that any game can turn ugly and many times it is due to lack of concentration. Tomorrow that will not be the case.”

Spain’s only defeat in the current campaign came against the Scots, but they have won their other five and, boosted by the 6-0 win over Cyrus in September, have a superior goal difference.

“We now have two games against Cyprus and Georgia that are very important,” added De La Fuente in Limassol.

“This is more than a test, this has to help us be better than previous games. That is the goal, to be better every day.

“We have a lot of room for improvement, they are very good players with a great willingness to do so.

“In that medium term that will be the next Euros. We have to be mature to be able to compete at the highest level.”

Asked whether his team should be considered one of the Euro 2024 favourites, he said: “We work to be able to fight to win the tournament but there are some teams like Germany, France, Portugal or England that have the same level as us. Then, winning it is a matter of details.”

Cyprus coach Temuri Ketsbaia, whose side have scored just two goals in their seven successive defeats, is hopeful his players can find the motivation in their final match – despite being hammered 6-0 by the same opponents in September.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s the first day or the last. You always have to give your best when you play with the national team,” he said.

“I think that in another group we would have gotten more points, but we have had to play against a team with the potential of Spain or against candidates for the Ballon d’Or like (Erling) Haaland.”

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