September 6, 2018 / 1:12 PM / 2 months ago

Isco welcomes Luis Enrique mobile phone ban

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - International Friendly - Spain vs Argentina - Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain - March 27, 2018 Spain's Isco celebrates scoring their third goal REUTERS/Juan Medina/File Photo

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain midfielder Isco says he welcomes coach Luis Enrique’s ban on mobile phones during team meals and has embraced the new manager’s footballing ideas and team building exercises.

“It’s always good to have a little bit of discipline, not having phones at meals is a good idea to me, these days we are often more focussed on machines than speaking with our team mates,” Isco told a news conference on Thursday.

Spain play their first game under former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique on Saturday away to England in their opening match of the UEFA Nations League before hosting Croatia on Tuesday.

Their last outing was their shock elimination from the World Cup to Russia on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the last 16.

Some fans and pundits queried Luis Enrique’s appointment as successor to Julen Lopetegui due to his prickly relationship with the media and his barely concealed distaste for Real Madrid in the past.

Real Madrid midfielder Isco, however, said the team have taken to the coach’s training methods as well as his quirky ideas off the pitch, which saw him take the players to an escape room on Wednesday, where participants have to break out of a locked room by completing puzzles.

“The escape room was very good, we were able to disconnect a bit and have a lot of laughs. We had to find clues and solve riddles,” Isco added.

“We are very happy with him and we are excited about starting the important things which are the games so we can know what level we are at.”

Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Toby Davis

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