Vicente del Bosque Spain coach expects warm reception

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque does not expect any hostility towards Gerard Pique.

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Vicente del Bosque is not expecting any hostility from Spain supporters during the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifier with Luxembourg after Gerard Pique was targeted during recent international matches.

The Barcelona defender has been jeered by some Spain fans in the last few months, with his vocal support of Catalan independence reportedly one of the chief reasons.

The Leon-based friendly against Costa Rica in June saw the centre-back widely targeted, with September's qualifier with Slovakia in September resulting in a similar outcome.

But Del Bosque feels the team's reception in Logrono ahead of Saturday's clash has been better and he expects that to continue during the match.

"The reception has been warm. They [the locals] have been very good to us all and we are grateful to Logrono," he told reporters.

"We will play with the best possible atmosphere."

Despite a disappointing defeat to Slovakia early in their campaign, Spain are on the brink of securing an automatic passage to Euro 2016.

But Del Bosque insists qualifying has not been easy and is pleased that their journey through Group C has inspired optimism.

"This phase of qualification has been very difficult. After the defeat in Slovakia it was complicated, but we are in an excellent position to qualify automatically. We will have done very well to get to France," he said.

"We are the European champions and it's good that optimism reaches the people.

"We will just try to play our game and give our best [on Saturday]."

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