Vicente del Bosque was a relieved man after seeing Spain beat France
Vicente del Bosque was a relieved after seeing Spain beat France to go top of their World Cup qualifying group.
Last Updated: 27/03/13 8:10am
The World Cup holders went into the match two points behind Didier Deschamps' side following their shock draw with Finland on Friday and they needed a win to put their destiny back in their own hands.
In the end, a solitary goal from Pedro on 58 minutes was enough to secure a vital victory.
Del Bosque told reporters: "The last few days have been uncomfortable because there was a possibility we could have gone five points behind France, but the players showed great maturity. It could have been a bigger scoreline but we have worked hard and suffered right until the end."
Spain need just seven points from their remaining three matches to guarantee their place in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and Del Bosque highlighted he significance of the victory, whilst also expressing his pleasure with the way his team performed.
He said: "We are very happy with these three points because they put us in a great position. We got the result by playing in our own style. We should never change the way we play, because it has served us very well.
"I am someone who does have doubts now and again and I think it would be foolish not to, so this result is extremely important for us. We affirmed our ideas and showed conviction out on the pitch."
The coach admitted that his team experienced some anxious moments before the final whistle against a France side who had Paul Pogba sent off with 12 minutes to go, but also paid tribute to every player who participated in the game, and to his squad in general.
He said: "We played very well. We were a bit unorganised when they went down to 10 men and it almost cost us the win.
"Every player played very well. [Alvaro] Arbeloa did a fantastic job on [Franck] Ribery. Everyone was focused and we played like real men.
"Even those on the substitutes bench played their part and transmitted their spirit to those out on the field - and we need to maintain that positivity.
"We have a very important team base, we have a stable bunch of players but we also have others who have come in and done a great job. One of the biggest problems for the coaches is fitting in all these players who deserve a chance - we aren't always able to do that."
However, despite the cushion that the victory gives his team, Del Bosque insisted he was not complacent about them qualifying for the World Cup.
He declared: "We have got three qualifiers left and we have to finish the job off using the spirit we showed tonight. The games we have left are all potential banana skins. We cannot take them for granted. Football is full of curiosities - France had a very advantageous position and now everything has changed."