Lopetegui to put faith in youth


Julen Lopetegui indicated he will put his faith in Spain's next generation after seeing his side beat Belgium 2-0 in Brussels on Thursday in his first match in charge.

Goals either side of half-time by David Silva sealed a comfortable victory for Spain at the King Baudouin Stadium ahead of their first World Cup qualifier against Liechtenstein on Monday.

Lopetegui left out Iker Casillas and Cesc Fabregas from the squad and was rewarded by a complete performance from his side, but it was young players like Koke who caught the eye.

"We have tried to work as a team with the ball and without the ball to show all the virtues that are in favour of our team," Lopetegui told reporters after the match.

"Today there were times when we played really well. While the squad has been more balanced, we have been known to suffer. We give thanks for a good game.

"Little by little the young players will have to take more responsibility. Life and football are like that.

"This was a very nice game, but the next [against Liechtenstein] is more important. No doubt."

Lopetegui also confirmed Alvaro Morata was withdrawn as a "precaution" after the Real Madrid forward felt tightness in his leg during the first half.

Goalscorer Silva noted it will take time to adapt to Lopetegui's methods after Vicente del Bosque's eight-year trophy-laden reign came to an end following a disappointing showing at Euro 2016.

"We are adapting well while further improving," Silva said.

"We need a good start in qualifying for the World Cup."