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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

Isco on board with Luis Enrique's methods - including no phones at team meals

Spain play their first match under the new manager when they take on England at Wembley in their Uefa Nations League opener on Saturday

Isco, right, will line up for Spain against England at Wembley Stadium in the Uefa Nations League on Saturday. EPA
Isco, right, will line up for Spain against England at Wembley Stadium in the Uefa Nations League on Saturday. EPA

Spain midfielder Isco has said the squad is embracing the methods of new manager Luis Enrique, which includes the banning of mobile phones during team meals.

Spain are entering a new era under former Barcelona coach Enrique, who took charge of his national team in July following the acrimonious departure of predecessor Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Sporting director, and former Real Madrid defender, Fernando Hierro took charge for the tournament as Spain were surprisingly eliminated at the last-16 stage by the hosts. Hierro subsequently stepped down as interim coach and did not return to his previous role.

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The 2010 World Cup winners play their first game under Enrique on Saturday away to England in their opening match of the Uefa Nations League before hosting Croatia - finalists in Russia - on Tuesday.

Some fans and pundits queried Enrique's appointment as successor to Lopetegui due to his prickly relationship with the media and his barely concealed distaste for Real Madrid in the past.

Madrid midfielder Isco, however, said the team have taken to the coach's training methods as well as his quirky ideas off the pitch, which saw him take the players to an escape room on Wednesday, where participants have to break out of a locked room by completing puzzles.

"The escape room was very good, we were able to disconnect a bit and have a lot of laughs. We had to find clues and solve riddles," Isco told a news conference on Thursday.

"We are very happy with him and we are excited about starting the important things which are the games so we can know what level we are at."

Isco is also on board with Enrique's decision to ban phones at the dinner table, adding: "It's always good to have a little bit of discipline, not having phones at meals is a good idea to me, these days we are often more focused on machines than speaking with our team mates."

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