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Luis Enrique spends press conference defending Diego Llorente and Unai Simon

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Spain managed to edge past Switzerland 1-0 on Thursday evening, securing their first victory of the Nations League campaign. A goal from Pablo Sarabia gave La Roja an early lead, after which Spain settled into a rhythm.

However in the second half, the most remarkable takeaway from the game was the ease with Switzerland caused danger behind the Spanish defence. A large part of which involved Unai Simon and Diego Llorente.

The Leeds central defender and the Athletic ‘keeper have been regulars in the team for Luis Enrique but always controversial with the public. After the match, Luis Enrique was asked if the mistakes had made him suffer, with Diario AS carrying his response.

“This is a game of mistakes. It’s a game to feel proud of what the national team is. The first half was more complete. In the second, we didn’t have act with force with the ball, which obligates the rival [to change] more.”

Later on, Lucho was again asked about Simon, who rushed out to sweep behind the defence on several occasions. He wasn’t always convincing in his clearances either.

“He doesn’t make me nervous. Neither do Robert Sanchez and David Raya. The goalkeeper has to generate the first superiority. And in that, he is an expert. The thing is, I tell him that he should do it. I don’t know any other way to turn up and play.”

“Ah so he makes a mistake. Well just as with Pepe, Lucas, Manolo… I understand that to those that don’t like it, it makes them nervous, but I like that he plays like that.”

The following question again was directed to the topic of Diego Llorente, who has struggled to show his best version in the Premier League or with Spain.

“I know a lot about football and he comes because he is amongst the best. He has played with continuity. Him as much as Pau. We found [Sergio] Busquets a lot, which is important.”

“Switzerland are in the World Cup and they will give us problems… For me the error is not having the ball in the opposition half. You defend with the ball.”

‘Lucho’ did his best to deflect questions about their performance and reaffirm his confidence, as was the case with Eric Garcia before the match. It appears little can sway the Asturian’s mind once he places his faith in a player.

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