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UEFA Nations League

Luis Enrique applauds 'adaptive' Southgate's understanding of football

21:55 EAT 14/10/2018
The England boss has won many admirers for his impact as manager and the Spain coach is one of them

Spain coach Luis Enrique has applauded his England counterpart Gareth Southgate for his adaptive approach to coaching ahead of the two teams meeting in Seville on Monday.

England have made an underwhelming start to their Nations League campaign after losing at home to Spain and drawing away to Croatia, but generally Southgate has attracted plaudits since taking the job in 2016.

Southgate has drawn particular acclaim for promoting attacking football and putting faith in young players, leading the country to its first World Cup semi-final since 1990 earlier this year despite having one of the most youthful squads at the tournament.

And Luis Enrique is an admirer of the former England defender's coaching methods, having only recently turned to international football himself.

"I like Southgate as a coach, because he proposes to play football by adapting to his players, something every coach should do," said Luis Enrique.

"I have followed him and I like the way he expresses himself and what he understands about football. In fact, he has renewed [his contract]. But I wish him less luck for tomorrow [Monday]."

A draw against England at Real Betis' Benito Villamarin stadium could ultimately be enough to secure Spain a place in the Nations League finals next year.

But Luis Enrique is only contemplating a victory, a result that would make sure of a spot in the last four.

"What gives us the mathematical classification is victory," he said. "The other results, I do not even contemplate them.

"We are going to go out and win because what we are interested in is victory. We are going to focus on that."