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Reina urges Spain to focus on future

Spain goalkeeper Jose Reina last night has warned his team of European champions that they could not afford to "live off our past" as they prepare for a make-or-break World Cup match against Honduras.

A defeat to Switzerland in their opening Group H match means Spain need a convincing performance -- and certainly three points -- when they take to the pitch at Ellis Park this evening. The shock loss on Wednesday was only their second in 49 matches and the side have received glowing plaudits for their fluid brand of attacking football, culminating in their fully deserved triumph at Euro 2008. But Liverpool No1 Reina insisted their previous achievements meant nothing here in South Africa.

He said: "This side has been playing for five years together; I think we've been doing things well and doing a good job but we can't live off our past -- we have to prove again more than ever that we can be in that group of teams who can win the World Cup, and we have to recover from that incident (the Switzerland defeat) the other day.

"After that game against Switzerland we just wanted to get straight out there again to show that we can do a good job and play some good football." Much has been made of the struggles of some of the top European sides at these finals, but Spain defender Carles Puyol refused to accept that the long domestic and European club campaigns most top players have to endure could be used as an excuse.

"We have had time now to recover and prepare for this World Cup but it is true that some of us have been playing very important matches right up to the end of the season," the Barcelona defender said. "But it is no excuse."

Andres Iniesta is Spain's only injury doubt, while Vicente Del Bosque will consider starting Premier League stars Fernando Torres and Cesc Fabregas.

SPAIN v HONDURAS, LIVE RTé2 & UTV (KO 7.30)


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