Spain need time to think about the future, says Vicente del Bosque

• Manager appeals for calm assessment after World Cup exit
• ‘I would never have believed we could go out in the first phase’

Vicente del Bosque departed the Maracanã with some thinking to do and plenty of time in which to do it. After watching his team lose 2-0 to Chile he admitted that he had never imagined Spain’s World Cup would be over so soon. But he added that he was in no hurry to make decisions about the future either of himself or of his players.

Del Bosque also insisted that the team’s preparation had been good and that the Spain set-up is sufficiently stable to withstand the blow. He looks to the future with optimism.

“If I think about the 25 days that we have spent together, the work we did, the way the squad got on and the commitment the players showed, I would never have believed that we could go out in the first phase,” he said.

“Sometimes you can see that the players go into a tournament defeated or that they don’t have any enthusiasm but that was not the case for us. We have been working for 25 days, doing good work. We thought we were in good condition and it was always hard to pick a starting XI.”

He continued: “In the first half we started too slowly, we were too timid and that was very out of keeping with the atmosphere there has been in the team. We seemed to just get the ball. We didn’t have much luck in the chances but we cannot look for any excuses. Holland and Chile were better than us.

“We have had lots of messages of support and kindness and this is a sad day for everyone. We’re sorry not to have been able to succeed and it’s time to think about the future.”

Del Bosque has been manager since July 2008, while his captain Iker Casillas was playing his 156th game. Xavi, the vice-captain, did not play what would have been his 134th match. It is not just the defeat that made this seem like the end of an era. But the manager resisted suggestions that this was necessarily the end.

“I don’t want to reflect immediately. We need to have time to think about it. When something negative like this happens at a World Cup it always has consequences but I don’t want to get into the analysis yet,” he said.

“There’s a long time to think about it, to reflect and to take decisions. We have to do so calmly and the federation is strong and solid, so the right decision will be made. And that applies to me too.”

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