Mauricio Pochettino ‘worried’ for Spain’s World Cup hopes as he pinpoints 2 weaknesses

Spain were considered one of the favourites to win the World Cup, but Mauricio Pochettino has raised concerns about Luis Enrique’s side following their draw with Germany

Mauricio Pochettino has raised concerns about Spain's hopes of winning the World Cup

Former Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino has admitted he is “worried” about Spain following their draw with Germany.

La Roja faced Hansi Flick’s side in their second group game of the World Cup, having started with a statement 7-0 demolition of Costa Rica. That win led many to tip them to be one of the favourites to win the tournament.

But their second outing was a cagey match, with the two sides cancelling each other out for long periods. It took a goal from substitute Alvaro Morata to spark the game into life, but Spainwere unable to hold onto the three points.

Instead, they were forced to settle for a draw after Niclas Füllkrug fired in with seven minutes remaining. Spain remain top of Group E despite that disappointment though and will seal their place in the last 16 by avoiding defeat against Japan.

Pochettino though remains unconvinced that they will be able to go all the way in Qatar this year. The Argentine picked out two weaknesses that he believes means that Spain will not be lifting the World Cup.

“This is the World Cup, it’s not easy to keep the same level as Spain show against Costa Rica. Germany’s a great team, good players, tough opposition but today I’m a little worried for Spain,” he told BBC Sport.

Alvaro Morata opened the scoring for Spain but they were forced to settle for a draw with Germany

“Because after Costa Rica they maybe thought this competition would be nothing, now maybe some weakness, some weakness.

“Maybe they feel the pressure of the game, when the German go high to press, trying to find a solution in the build up and some problems, some mistakes, and the Germans finished the game stronger.”

Goalscorer Morata admitted that Spain had endured a “tough game” against Germany, who he hailed as “amazing”. And he insisted that La Roja cannot afford to take their eye off the ball when they face Japan.

“When we are on the bench we are always focused on coming on and impacting the game and that we might be important to change the game. It was a tough game. Germany have an amazing team and it was a really good game,” he told BBC Sport.

“It was two teams that could be a semi-final or final in a World Cup. I got told to play like I do all the time and keep the team help the ball and attack the spaces. That is what I do. It is the same coming off the bench as starting and the most important thing is to win.

“They scored an amazing goal and from tomorrow we’ll keep training and pushing and staying positive. Japan are a tough team. They run a lot and are good tactically. It is another tough game but we are in a World Cup and every game is crazy.”

The final round of Group E fixtures will come on Thursday, with Spain facing Japan and Germany taking on Costa Rica. Spain need to merely avoid defeat to be assured of their place in the knockout stages.

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