Luis de la Fuente is confident Scotland will see an improved Spain in the Euro 2024 qualifier in Seville on Thursday night.
The hosts were left smarting when they lost 2-0 at Hampden Park in March – a first defeat in 19 Euro qualifiers going back to 2014.
Spain won the Nations League in the summer, beating Croatia 5-4 on penalties following a 0-0 draw after extra-time, and recovered in the qualifiers to hammer Georgia 7-1 and Cyprus 6-0 to sit six points behind Steve Clarke’s side with a game in hand.
Scotland, who won their first five Group A qualifiers before losing 3-1 to England in a friendly at Hampden Park last month, will qualify for next summer’s tournament in Germany if they avoid defeat in Spain or if Norway fail to beat Cyprus on the same night.
Speaking through an interpreter at Estadio La Cartuja, head coach De la Fuente said: “We have to win these two games. We’ve known how important these games are since September.
“Scotland is crucial, beat them and it opens up our qualification.
“The team is training well and making us feel secure. They are very professional and add the talent and it is fantastic.
“We took a lot from the game in Glasgow. We’re stronger than we were then, we’re playing better than before. We need to play football and show how we win.
“Then we try to win the next and the next – but it all starts here, we have to do the job here.
“It’s a really tough game. We respect Scotland a lot, their team, their players. It is a tough opponent and they have shown it in the qualification with their results.
“We have to be at our very best level to win because this is a top-level team.”
However, despite a desperation to win, De la Fuente was keen to play down any notion of revenge.
He said: “I don’t see it as revenge, I see it as a game of football. We have the obligation to try to win.
“It is our responsibility because we represent the whole country. It is not revenge. It is a football game. Very important but a football game.
“Scotland keep improving because they have great footballers and tomorrow we will find a better Scotland.
“All our players are available, there are a few little knocks, but we’ll see how they all are at the last minute.”
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