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Friday 15 December 2017

Navas: Spain can recover from slow start

SEVILLE STAR Jesus Navas believes that Spain can recover from their slow start to Euro 2012 and go on to retain their European crown.

Spain head into tomorrow's clash with Ireland knowing they are in need of a win, having dropped two points on the opening day of the group against Italy and are already playing catch-up with group leaders Croatia but Navas insists that Vincente Del Bosque's men have what it takes.

"We have experience," he said. "We cannot forget that we lost our opening game of the World Cup [1-0 defeat to Switzerland in 2010] but then went on to win our remaining games and lift the trophy.

"There are still many points up for grabs. We know what we need to do and I believe we can do it."

"It's going to be a difficult game against Ireland, " Navas added. "We have to get three points and we have to attack them from the start. I am eager to help the team by making an important contribution here. I will give everything I have to do well," added Navas.

He was used as a sub in Sunday's game against Italy, his sub's role a by-product of del Bosque's decision to play without a recognised striker, with front men like Fernandno Torres and Fernando Llorente on the bench, but Navas has defended his manager's tactics.

"There are many opinions regarding his selection but I think the coach's decision was a good one," Navas said. "The coach always chooses a line-up to win a game and in this case, things went well for us. But we also have other alternatives."

Spain midfielder Sergio Busquets, one of the Barca players driven to distraction by Chelsea, knows exactly what to expect.

"Patience will be key," he said.

"The most important thing is our style and philosophy. We will try to control possession and play the ball around quickly.

"Hopefully we can score an early goal to settle ourselves and maybe then they will have to open up a bit more."

Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland are 10-1 with bookmakers to win.

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