Sunday 18 March 2018

Spain coach Milla shoulders blame for exit from football tournament

Spain coach Luis Milla has taken responsibility for his side's shock exit at the group stages of the Olympic football tournament.

The 1992 winners were among the favourites to challenge for the gold medal but were eliminated without so much as scoring a goal as they slipped to consecutive 1-0 defeats to Japan and Honduras.

And Milla, whose side face Morocco in their final game tomorrow, insisted they must now analyse their preparation and learn for future tournaments.

He told the Spanish Football Federation website, "I am very disappointed because I think we deserved more.

"The person responsible is myself; we need to sit down and analyse everything that happened.

"Perhaps we lacked something in our preparation, but last year we did the same before the U-21 European Championship and ended up winning the title.

"The fans will think the coach has been a disaster, that this has been a total failure and I understand that. But we need to be calm now and analyse what went wrong."

The former Barcelona and Real Madrid player also apologised to the Spanish public for the his players' reaction towards referee Juan Soto as they hounded the Venezuelan official for not awarding penalties when Adrian Lopez and Rodrigo appeared to be taken down in the box late on in the Honduras game.

"We ask for forgiveness for this elimination and bad image. I didn't realise at the time, but we need to know how to win and how to lose," he said.

"Obviously the referee harmed us with his decisions as the two penalties were clear. Now though all we can do is beat Morocco and regain some of our pride."

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