Spain coach gives backing to Fernando Torres

Spain boss Vicente del Bosque is set to stick with Fernando Torres for tomorrow night's Euro 2012 qualifier against Scotland in Alicante.

The Chelsea striker has shown flashes of his former brilliance in recent weeks even though his Stamford Bridge career continues to be a case of 'one step forward, two steps back'.

A fine, goalscoring display at Old Trafford against Manchester United was overlooked due to a glaring second-half miss while, in the Blues' next league game, an early goal was overshadowed by a red card for a lunge on Swansea's Mark Gower.

Torres has also struggled for his national team, failing to find the back of the net for the world and European champions for over 12 months.

But despite the question marks hanging over the former Atletico Madrid and Liverpool star, Del Bosque seems likely to start him against the Scots.

He told reporters at a press conference: "He is doing well for his club. A player cannot be constantly judged, we have to look at it from a broader perspective.

"We must be fair because he has a lot of competition but Torres has a history and a presence."

Torres started Friday's 2-0 win in the Czech Republic but was withdrawn for David Villa just after the hour mark.

"I saw Fernando in good form with a lot of energy and enthusiasm," said Del Bosque.

"Unfortunately we didn't find the right pass for him against the Czechs.

"He did what I asked of him. Fernando made them defend deep and opened up space."

Del Bosque was less willing to guarantee the £50 million man a place in his squad for the Euro 2012 finals, for which his team have already qualified.

"For the Euros we will see what happens, nobody will have privileges," he said.

Victor Valdes is another set to play against Craig Levein's men having found opportunities limited behind Real Madrid's Iker Casillas and Liverpool stopper Jose Reina.

"He has great qualities, he dominates his area and is a very strong goalkeeper," said Del Bosque of the Barcelona goalkeeper.

"He's also a nice guy who has adapted well to the situation."

Spain have a 100% record after seven qualifying games in Group I and Del Bosque is demanding they go out on a high. He is also aware of the need to respect the situation in the pool with Scotland and the Czech Republic vying for the runners-up spot.

He said: "We have to show the same attitude as we did against the Czech Republic the other day.

"As an arbiter of this situation we must continue on the same path."

The hosts are without Real Madrid centre-half Raul Albiol due to a broken cheekbone sustained in training, with Barca's Carles Puyol set to step in.


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