Vicente del Bosque faces his first test in charge of Spain when they take on Denmark in Copenhagen on Wednesday, with continuity uppermost in his mind. The 57-year-old replaced Luis Aragones, 69, after La Furia Roja's 1-0 defeat of Germany in the final of UEFA EURO 2008 in June.
"He wants to work and to keep things as they are," said captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who played under Del Bosque at Real Madrid. The former defender had told his squad at their first training session on Monday: "Guys, I'm not going to change anything."
Having won two UEFA Champions League trophies and two Spanish La Liga titles when he was in charge of Los Merengues, Del Bosque has the credentials to gain the respect of the players. The match against Denmark will launch Spain's preparations for their 2010 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying campaign, which begins when they host Bosnia on 6 September and Armenia four days later.
Spain, who struggled to qualify for EURO 2008 after a disastrous start, will not want to repeat that scenario this time in a qualifying group that also includes Estonia, Belgium and Turkey.
Del Bosque wrote in Tuesday's edition of the ABC newspaper that, before the recent continental finals, "people, my friends were saying it would be better for me if Spain don't win, but they are wrong.
"If we had lost again, there would have been an unbearable atmosphere, more doubts and differences. We might have been talking about revolution, and in football the best thing is continuity."
But that does not mean he will not change anything. He has used the absence through injury of some of Spain's EURO 2008 winners to inject some new blood into the squad, including Sevilla attacking midfielder Diego Capel and Athletic Bilbao defenders Fernando Amorebieta and Andoni Iraola.
For Wednesday's match, he is expected to keep the line-up that won EURO 2008, except for the injured Carlos Marchena. And he can count on Valencia's two Davids - Villa and Silva - who showed in the Spanish Super Cup against Real Madrid on Sunday that they are still on form, as are Xavi of Barcelona and Liverpool's Fernando Torres.