Striker shortage will not affect us, says Xabi Alonso

The Real Madrid midfielder has said he is used to playing under pressure as Spain fights off tactical concerns to try and retain its European Championship title
Xabi Alonso has shrugged off concerns that a shortage of strikers could hamper Spain's Euro 2012 chances, and added that his side can deal with the pressure of being pre-tournament favourites.

Due to an injury to David Villa, and other forwards suffering a loss of form, Vicente del Bosque tried using Cesc Fabregas as a 'false number nine' during La Roja's opening group game with Italy, but used Fernando Torres up front with greater effect against Republic of Ireland.

However, the Real Madrid midfielder has now stated that he is unconcerned about who starts as a forward, and that he wants to put all discussion of the matter to one side.

"It does not affect us," Alonso told Adidas in an interview promoting the Spain kit. "We're so outside all discussions.

"We live with them because we know it's part of football, but we are aware of what we do right and wrong, regardless of all the noise that comes from outside, so these talks do not affect us at all

"We live with that pressure and demand, so we must remain ourselves and accept that responsibility because we fight for important things."

Speaking of the prospect of facing some of his Real Madrid team-mates later in the tournament, Alonso said he is thoroughly anticipating potential contests with the likes of Germany's Mesut Ozil or France's Karim Benzema.

"I think they respect us. They know it's a great opportunity to be contesting the Euro and probably we will be going to see their faces in the next phase, hopefully.

"If we see each other, the friendship will
be put aside and we will fight to stop."

Spain complete their Group C campaign with a fixture against Croatia on Monday at 20:45CET.

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