Luis Enrique upbeat about Spain’s qualification prospects despite defeat

Spain coach Luis Enrique said neither he nor his team were down after losing to Sweden on Thursday and ceding ground in their 2022 World Cup qualification campaign.

The 2-1 loss to the Swedes in Stockholm was Spain’s first in World Cup qualifying for 28 years.

The Euro 2020 semi-finalists sits second in the group with seven points from four games, two behind leaders Sweden, which has a game in hand.

With only one automatic spot up for grabs, Spain has it all to do to reel the Swedes back in. But Luis Enrique said his team was positive about qualification, be it catching Sweden or via the play-offs.

READ: Sancho to miss England’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers

“I’ve watched the game back, we’ve gone into depth with the analysis and I’m more optimistic,” he told a news conference ahead of Sunday’s meeting with bottom-placed Georgia.

“We don’t have things in our own hands in order to finish top of the group come November, but we have qualification for the next World Cup in our own hands even if Sweden top the group,” he said.

“If we win the two play-off games then we would qualify. You need to overcome difficulties, and that’s what we’re working on.”

Spain faces Georgia at the Estadio Nuevo Vivero in Badajoz before travelling to Kosovo on Wednesday.

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