sport

Del Bosque to consider future

Vicente del Bosque will not make a final decision on his future until after Spain’s final group game against Australia, but he has indicated that he would be prepared to stand down as boss.

Spain's World Cup defence will end at the group phase after losses to the Netherlands and Chile, and attention has turned to possible changes both in the squad and the management team.

Del Bosque has received the backing of players including Sergio Ramos and Santi Cazorla, while Jorge Perez, the Spanish Football Federation's sporting director, has also given his support to the 63-year-old, saying he would try to convince the coach to change his mind if he did choose to resign.

Del Bosque explained he would not make any announcement until after Spain's final match of the tournament, and refused to single out any of his players for the team's failures in Brazil, insisting: "Everyone is to blame."

"We are still competing, so I don't think this is the moment to speak about my future, but I will do what is best for everyone," he told a press conference.

"I want to repeat that I don't want to be a hindrance to the Spanish Football Federation. The good of Spanish football should become above all personalities.

"I want to try and act correctly with the Federation, which has always treated me well. If I am a problem for our football, I will go. The interests of the national team and the Federation will rank above my own interests when I make my decision."

There was a difference of opinion among Spain's players as to why the tournament holders lost both their opening games, to Holland and Chile respectively, with Xabi Alonso citing a lack of hunger, a statement quickly refuted by Andres Iniesta and Diego Costa.

The players' words have prompted speculation in the press that there was a rift within the Spain camp, but Del Bosque insisted his players were not at loggerheads with each other, before or after the Chile game.

"I don't think there is any distance between the players," he said.

"I think they have a very good relationship. The dressing room has always responded

"The reasons for what has happened are entirely sporting, that's all. People can look for other explanations but I do not share them."

The coach also refused to pin the blame on Spain's older generation such as Alonso, Iker Casillas and Xavi.

"There are not that many older players that need to leave. Here we judge players on merit, not on their age."

He added: "Everyone here messed up at this World Cup. It wasn't the veterans, the youngsters or the coaching staff - everyone is to blame."