Jordi Alba hopes Spain can show more solidity defensively to complement their attacking panache as Fernando Hierro's side aim to seal a place in the knockout stages of the World Cup against Morocco.
The 2010 winners battled to a 1-0 victory over Iran's massed defensive ranks in Kazan on Wednesday after playing out a 3-3 thriller with Group B leaders Portugal in their opening game.
Cristiano Ronaldo's stunning hat-trick in Sochi came despite Spain controlling long passages of play and when Iran emerged from their shell there were some nervous moments, including an equaliser ruled out for offside.
"I think we controlled the match [against Iran], but it is true they generated danger with the play of the disallowed goal and a header at the far post," Barcelona left-back Alba told Marca.
"In that respect I can understand how those doubts that are so much talked about are generated.
"Honestly, inside the dressing room we did not see it that way. But all opinions are respectable."
Surprisingly, Alba claimed Iran proved to be tougher opponents than a Ronaldo-inspired Portugal.
"Portugal came to us three times: a dubious penalty, a foul that Cristiano put away incredibly and a mistake [by goalkeeper David de Gea]," he added.
"We were totally superior to Portugal and we deserved much more than them. But this is a World Cup.
"People may think that Iran are not at that level, but they made life more complicated for us than Portugal.
"We have four points, which is the important thing we have to look at. You always have to correct things, but this is a World Cup and we are seeing what happens every day in almost every game."
Morocco have only pride to play for and Herve Renard's side have every reason to feel aggrieved over their early exit, having created ample chances during each of their 1-0 losses - failing to turn them into goals.
"We know we are eliminated but, well, we will try to stay with a good taste in our mouths for all the people who are supporting us, not only here but throughout the world," Real Madrid full-back Achraf Hakimi told reporters.
"We will try to do our best and give a joy to the fans."
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Spain – Diego Costa
Following a nightmare campaign in 2014 and watching Euro 2016 from the outside looking in, powerhouse striker Costa has finally established himself as the leader of La Roja's attack and has three goals from his first two outings at Russia 2018.
Morocco – Ayoub El Kaabi
A prolific goalscorer who has enjoyed a rapid rise from Morocco's lower leagues over the past couple of years, El Kaabi has one more chance to bring his finishing prowess to the biggest stage having failed to fire in one start and a substitute appearance.
KEY OPTA FACTS
- Spain have won three of their four World Cup matches against African opponents (L1), scoring 11 goals and never fewer than two per game.
- Morocco have now been eliminated at the group stage in four of their five World Cup campaigns, only progressing in the 1986 tournament.
- The Atlas Lions have fired in more shots than their opposition in each of their last six World Cup defeats (v Portugal and Iran in 2018; Brazil in 1998; Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and Belgium in 1994).
- Diego Costa has scored nine goals in his last nine international starts for Spain.
17 de julio 2018
|Celtics still hoping to re-sign Smart|
|Villarreal sign highly rated Velez midfielder Caseres|
|Juventus signing Ronaldo should give Milan optimism – Kaka|
|Berrettini masters Mayer in Bastad|
16 de julio 2018
|Manchester United and Ajax agree Daley Blind transfer|
|Familiarity with demands of Real Madrid an advantage – Lopetegui|
|Parmentier rallies to avoid Bucharest exit, Arruabarrena bows out in Gstaad|
|Steelers fail to sign Bell to long-term deal|
|Over 10 per cent of Croatia´s population welcomes World Cup heroes home|
|Thierry Henry quits pundit role to focus on coaching|
|France´s World Cup winners given heroes´ welcome in Paris|
|At the end we will see who is best - Ronaldo sidesteps Messi rivalry|
|Qatar? China? Ronaldo only has eyes for glory at Juventus|
|Proud Kane praises team-mates after Golden Boot win|
|The Open 2018 diary: Is that Tiger Woods? Harrington feels the Burn...|
|Porte targeting Vuelta after Tour de France anguish|
|Maradona madness, #WaistcoatWednesday, bruised Batshuayi - Alternative World Cup awards|
|It could be the best time - Martinez hints at Hazard Chelsea exit|
|England call up Billings as cover for injury doubt Roy|
|McIlroy on track for fitting major haul - Harrington|
|Froome plays down Thomas battle for Sky supremacy|
|Carnoustie record counts for little at The Open, says Fleetwood|
|I don´t see it - Napoli chief De Laurentiis plays down talk of Callejon-Suso swap|
|One or two changes required at Chelsea, says Sarri|
|Monaco confirm Golovin approach|
|Let´s keep making noise! - Serena dedicates Wimbledon run to fellow mothers|
|Full list of Open tee times|
|Fakhar inspires another big Pakistan ODI win|
|Spieth ´annoyed´ by re-watch of 13th hole|
|Kaka claims Ronaldo arrival will boost all Italian clubs|
|Spieth vows to be more artist than tactician in Open defence|
|Conte thanks Chelsea players, staff and fans|
|Rodgers: I´d love to play with the Packers to 40|
|Sevilla insist N´Zonzi will cost €40m|
|Hugill shows mystic powers with accurate World Cup predictions|
|World Cup 2018: FARE ready for post-tournament challenges in Russia|
|Woods grouped with Matsuyama and Knox at Open|
|Matthaus questions idea of French dynasty|
|Chandimal, Sri Lanka coach and manager banned for two Tests and four ODIs|
|Sassuolo demand at least €30m for Berardi|
|French media revels in ´crazy´ triumph|
|Mafi released on bail after alleged assault|
|Bierhoff must go! Berthold calls for Germany changes|
|Joshua to fight Povetkin in September|
|World Cup 2018: Goal-laden final adds to staggering World Cup stats|
|Runners and Ryders: Molinari impresses again as stars prepare for The Open|
|Macron to greet France team after Champs Elysees parade|
|Casillas and Suarez critical of VAR after World Cup final|
|TMO protocol clearly not working, says SANZAAR|
|Americans seek joy of six at Carnoustie, Rose out to end wretched run - The Open in Opta facts|
|Ronaldo arrives in Turin for Juventus medical|
|Stone: I had no idea what my score was!|
|The Open: A look back at Van de Velde´s Carnoustie calamity|
|Rakitic proud of ´brother´ Modric´s Golden Ball award|
|Serena can surpass Court, but Graf was the real target - Krajicek|
|Ronaldo moved to remain motivated - Kaka|
|Silva confident on Everton transfer targets|
|Golden Boot winner Kane aims to break August hoodoo|
|NFL training camp 2018: Contract holdouts and where they stand|
|Guardiola took me to another level - Alaba|
|Madrid selling Ronaldo a ´historic error´ - Calderon|
|MLS Review: LAFC, Atlanta held at home|
|Stones will watch re-runs of England´s World Cup matches|
|Ferdinand challenges Mourinho to unleash Pogba at United|
|Mbappe: I´m staying at PSG|
|Former NHL goalie Ray Emery found dead|
|Pirates secure five-game sweep of Brewers with walk-off win|
|WATCH: LeBron receives standing ovation at Lakers´ summer league game|
|Tony Romo wins celebrity-filled American Century Championship|
|McGregor praises Putin after attending World Cup final|