Luis Enrique says he is a huge fan of Gareth Southgate ahead of Spain vs England Nations League clash
The Spain manager says he is hugely impressed with how Southgate speaks and sees the game
The two will meet in Sevilla on Monday, as Spain hope to continue their 100% record in the Nations League so far and qualify for the final far, but their new boss has a lot of respect for his opponent.
"I like Southgate as a manager, what he brings. He always wants the ball and adapts to the players. I have followed his work, including his press conferences, because I like how he speaks. I hope against Spain he doesn't have luck, but after the match finishes, I wish him all the luck in the world.”
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Luis Enrique naturally praised Southgate’s team, too, point to two particular qualities he is wary of: set-pieces and transitions.
"It's one of the English virtues,” the Spanish boss said of Southgate’s use of set-pieces.
“They really exploited this during the World Cup and we have to be alert. We have to try to ensure they get a minimum of free-kicks and corners. Counters are also another of their qualities.”
Luis Enrique spoke of how he has spent a lot of time scrutinising opposition sides, as he gets used to how much of an international job is “in the office” rather than out by the grass. Luis Enrique took over from Fernando Hierro after a disappointing World Cup, having only ever worked in the club - at Celta Vigo, Roma and, most famously, Barcelona.
"It doesn't feel easy,” he laughed. “I am prepared for this and whatever other situation. I have adapted to what is one week of the job with the players, and three in the office with videos, following the players. I am happy with how we have it. Everything is going perfectly."