Las Palmas, November 19: Spain may not have qualified for the Nations League Finals but Luis Enrique is pleased with how his young side have progressed since their World Cup exit.
The former Barcelona coach took control of the national team from Fernando Hierro after Russia 2018 – Spain having lost Julen Lopetegui to Real Madrid on the eve of the tournament.
Victories in his opening two competitive matches put them in charge of their Nations League group with England and Croatia, however their fortunes turned.
A loss at home to England was followed by a 3-2 reverse in Zagreb, leaving Spain with no control over their own destiny.
England's 2-1 win over Croatia on Sunday (November 18) saw them progress to the semi-finals of the competition, while Spain remain in League A after finishing second in the group.
But Luis Enrique was not too downhearted by that, and he sees plenty of positives despite an unconvincing 1-0 friendly win over Bosnia-Herzegovina on Sunday (November 18).
"Obviously we would have liked to have been in the final four, it seemed that we had it on track after the first two games but it is one of the most difficult groups," he said.
"We lost our chance in Seville and in Zagreb.
"I make a positive assessment of the six matches that we have had, I already knew that the players could not give me everything I have asked for but I am delighted with the attitude of them all.
"I am happy and satisfied."
Sunday's win in Las Palmas saw Luis Enrique ring the changes and put his faith in Spain's youngsters, but it was his stand-in captain Isco who particularly impressed.
"He is a different player," he said of the Real Madrid midfielder. "He is decisive, with great quality and a praiseworthy attitude.
"The captain's armband is anecdotal because he had played the most matches. Isco has been leading teams for years in Madrid and for the national team, he did it in the World Cup."