Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso admits his side have no room for error against Honduras in their second Group H match after starting their FIFA World Cup™ campaign with a shock defeat against Switzerland.
The European champions suffered only their second loss in 49 matches, and their first ever at the hands of the Swiss, after slumping to a 1-0 loss in Durban on Wednesday. It means the Spanish, considered by many to be favourites to win the FIFA World Cup, are facing an early departure from South Africa unless they can turn things around in their next two matches.
Spain's final group match is a tough-looking encounter with Chile, who beat Honduras 1-0 in their first outing, but Alonso has warned against looking beyond their next match. "We need to take it step by step. Without doubt the game against Honduras is crucial because there is no margin for error," said the Real Madrid midfielder. "Afterwards we will think more about Chile. They did very well against Honduras and are a great team."
It's on the pitch where we will win credit. The best way to do that is to have a good game against Honduras and win the match.
Spain take on Honduras in Johannesburg on Monday, and Alonso admits it is unlikely to be easy with both teams wanting to recover from defeats. "We're expecting a difficult game. Honduras did not get a good result against Chile and therefore it's an important game," he said. "They are strong physically, with solid players at the back. And they will want to make things difficult for us."
The former Liverpool player also believes the best way for Spain to respond to the criticism they received following their defeat to the Swiss is by showing what they can do against Honduras. "We know how to live with criticism," he said. "It's on the pitch where we will win credit. The best way to do that is to have a good game against Honduras and win the match," he said.