Hierro sticking with the plan

14 June 2018 01:36:58 EST

Stand-in Spain head coach Fernando Hierro has vowed not to make too many changes in a bid to keep his side's bid for World Cup 2018 glory on track.

Hierro has been handed the reins after the sensational sacking of Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the tournament in Russia and the former La Roja international is eager to use the solid foundations laid by his predecessor, who was unbeaten in his 20 games in charge of the national team.

We know the first game is close and we must be intelligent and stick to what was being done before.

Fernando Hierro

Hierro said: "We've come to fight for the World Cup. The team is excited and we have a great opportunity and that should be the focus.

"The message from the team was fantastic. If I were not convinced of our aspirations, I would not be here. It is a nice challenge. I could not say no - I would not have forgiven myself.

"You cannot touch in two days what has been done in many years of work. We know the first game is close and we must be intelligent and stick to what was being done before.

"They are fantastic players and with Julen they have been preparing for this game for months.

"We must show maturity in this moment. It is not about understanding what has happened, but in dealing with the reality."

Spain open their Group B campaign against neighbours and current European champions Portugal in Sochi on Friday evening.

The 2010 World Cup winners are 1/1 to claim a victory, 5/4 to keep a clean sheet and 17/2 to secure a 2-0 win.

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