La Roja train at La Ros­aleda

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had been spe­cial to face his old team for the first time since his trans­fer: “Of course it was a spe­cial game for me,” the mid­fielder told re­porters. “It was against peo­ple I know. I have friends among both the play­ers and coach­ing staff and it’s al­ways good to play against them. In the first hour of the match they worked very well and made things dif­fi­cult for us. With the changes and with San­sone, who did well when he came on, we got the goals. We took risks and some­times they go for you, some­times they don’t, but we re­mained strong and were lucky enough to win.” but dom­i­nat­ing an op­po­nent isn’t easy and we lost, so there are no ex­cuses.

“We don’t look like a team that is in such a low po­si­tion,” he con­tin­ued. “How­ever, the re­al­ity is dif­fer­ent. We had con­trol of the game and then they scored. As such, it be­came very tough for us. But we have to keep work­ing hard and seek­ing so­lu­tions. We must im­prove. This re­sult was very bad for us, but this is the road we are on.” The Span­ish na­tional team are set to hold a public training ses­sion at La Ros­aleda this Fri­day ahead of Satur­day’s friendly with Costa Rica (kick-off 21.30). La Roja are due to ar­rive Málaga at 13.10 on Fri­day be­fore trans­fer­ring to the Gran Ho­tel Mi­ra­mar. That same evening, boss Julen Lopetegui and Real Madrid mid­fielder Isco will hold a press con­fer­ence be­fore training com­mences at 20.00. Tick­ets for the ses­sion are free and can be ob­tained on Thurs­day and Fri­day from the Plaza de la Con­sti­tu­ción be­tween 11.00 and 20.00. Al­ter­na­tively, fans can pick them up from the ticket of­fice at the sta­dium from 10.00 to 14.00 and 16.00 to 19.30. Tick­ets, of which there are a max­i­mum of 19,000, are limited to two per per­son and ac­cess to the stands will be from 19.15 on­wards.

Photo: EPA

Vil­lar­real play­ers cel­e­brate a goal against Málaga

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