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Stepping in for absent Spain boss Enrique the 'worst day' of assistant coach's career

The manager had to miss Spain’s Malta win due to a family emergency.

Robert Moreno (file pic).
Robert Moreno (file pic).

TAKING THE PLACE of the absent Luis Enrique on Spain’s bench for Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Malta was the “worst” moment of assistant coach Robert Moreno’s career.

Luis Enrique had to return home to attend a family emergency, with the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirming the situation earlier on Tuesday.

Moreno presided over a comfortable win and under any other circumstance it would have been a day to remember for the coach, as he took charge of Spain for the first team.

But Moreno said there was nothing to congratulate him for, instead keeping his thoughts with Luis Enrique.

“It’s the worst day of my career,” Moreno told Teledeporte . “We’re going to try to get everything right, send him a lot of strength.

“People congratulated me, but there was nothing to congratulate. It is a circumstance that should not have happened.

“Knowing Luis Enrique, we had to be as professional as possible, to transmit what he does. I have not been Robert Moreno, I’ve been a representative of Luis Enrique.”

Players also made their feeling for their absent boss clear. 

Two-goal hero Alvaro Morata​ dedicated the victory to his manager , telling AS : “We wanted to win for our coach, who deserves it and we are with him to the end.”

And Sergio Ramos followed with similar thoughts, saying Luis Enrique had been welcomed into Spain’s “family”. 

“We dedicate this victory to him and his family, we’ve done what we had to do,” he said. “In this team we’re all a family and everyone feels each other’s personal problems.”

Victory means Spain sit top of Group F with six points from two games, having also worked out a 2-1 win over Norway. 

Next up will be the Faroe Islands​ in June, though that match will be followed by what should be a sterner test in the form of Sweden on 10 June. 

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