DOHA, Qatar, February 7 – Spain manager Vicente del Bosque believes his side’s 3-1 win over Uruguay will prove good preparation for their crucial World Cup qualifiers against Finland and France in March.
The world and European champions finished the friendly in Qatar strongly as a second-half double from Pedro Rodriguez proved decisive after goals from Cesc Fabregas and Cristian Rodriguez had left the scores level at half-time.
Del Bosque is hoping just having three days preparation together will help the squad ahead of their return to competitive action.
“It has been two and a half months since we were together to play a game,” he said.
“We have six weeks left until we play against Finland and it was necessary to have this contact face-to-face to prepare for these matches. More than just the match itself, it is important to have contact between the players between the games.”
However, Del Bosque warned that Spain will have to be close to their best next month if they are to take a step closer to qualification for the World Cup in Brazil next year.
A 1-1 draw with France in October left both nations level on seven points after three games in Group I and their meeting in Paris is expected to decide who will progress automatically from the section.
“We need to remember what awaits us in March. We are preparing from now for these very difficult fixtures. If the relationships within the squad are clean and healthy then we are closer to success. In the national squad the behaviour of all the players is correct.”
Del Bosque also reserved special praise for Pedro after the Barca forward took his tally in his last six internationals to a remarkable nine goals.
“He is a dynamic player. He knows exactly what what he has to do and he has the touch of speed needed in modern football. We had periods of good football in the first-half but we lacked a bit of directness and Pedro provided this with his speed.”
The win in Doha stretched Spain’s unbeaten run at senior international level to 17 games.