Spain head coach Fernando Hierro said on Sunday that he was not concerned about his future for the moment following his side's loss at the hands of Russia.
Spain lost to Russia 3-4 in a penalty shootout after being held to a 1-1 draw after extra time in their round of 16 match in Moscow.
“The issue of my future in the Spanish national team is not what I am concerned about now… I was appointed head coach three days before [Spain’s first game in] the World Cup. If there is someone to blame, it’s me, not the players. I put my reputation on the line, because it’s my job,” Hierro told journalists at the post-match press conference.
Hierro was named the team’s new head coach just 24 hours before the opening match of the World Cup after former coach Julen Lopetegui was fired over agreeing to start training Real Madrid after the World Cup, and doing so without notifying the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) that he was in talks with the club.
When asked if the RFEF and their decision were to blame for Spain’s performance, Hierro stressed that this was not the time “to point fingers.”
“Decisions were made, and I don’t want to blame anyone. I am the head coach, I assumed the role. There is nothing else to say. I am responsible for this,” Hierro stated, adding that he was leaving the World Cup in a good state of mind as the players did everything in their powers.
This is the first time Russia have made it into the last eight at a World Cup since the break-up of the Soviet Union. They will face Croatia or Denmark in the game set to be held on 7 July in Sochi.