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Spain boss Vilda vows to carry on as rebellion forces his hand for double-header
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John Skilbeck
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Jorge Vilda appears at a Spain press conference on Friday
Jorge Vilda appears at a Spain press conference on Friday

Jorge Vilda insisted he has no plans to resign as head coach of the Spain women's team after a player rebellion forced him to name a massively under-strength squad on Friday.

The besieged boss left captain Irene Paredes and record scorer Jenni Hermoso out of his group for high-profile friendlies against Sweden and the United States, while 15 others last week wrote to the Spanish federation – the RFEF – to say they were unwilling to play for Vilda.

At the time, the group of players said by email the decision was taken for the sake of their "emotional state".

Vilda spoke at length about the crisis in a press conference, shortly after revealing his weakened squad list for the October 7 game against Sweden, and the USA match, which takes place four days later.

The reasoning behind the players' stance has yet to be crystallised. Vilda may by now have some sense of their concerns, after admitting he was initially "confused", but he would not detail any recent discussions.

His view is that he should be allowed to continue in his role, and when asked if he had at any stage considered quitting, his answer was unequivocal.

"At no time," he said. "Because of the unfairness and because of everything we have created in the past. Because of the energy and strength that I have to continue."

He urged the players who have opposed playing for him to front up, saying: "I would like them to say face to face why they have made that decision and why they disagree."

Vilda declined to speak about Hermoso and Paredes, saying he preferred to discuss the players he had selected. Hermoso came out in support of the rebels on Wednesday, while Ballon d'Or winner Alexia Putellas, who is currently injured, has also backed the disenchanted players' stance.

Defender Paredes and playmaker Putellas are Barcelona players, while striker Hermoso is with Mexican club Pachuca.

Vilda would not say whether he had spoken to the rebel players but said he was always available to talk.

"It is clear that it is a complicated and difficult situation to deal with," he said. "I am suffering more for my family and they are more affected. I think it would be unfair to remove myself from the centre and it would not be the right thing to do."

He appealed for "time and respect" for the players he has summoned, who included teenage Barcelona forward Salma Paralluelo.

Shortly before the squad list was released, Barcelona announced Paralluelo had a thigh problem.

Vilda said: "If that injury is confirmed, everything will go through the official channels of the national team. The club informs our medical services and the doctor tells me."

Ana Alvarez, director of women's football at the RFEF, said last week that Vilda's position was "unquestionable". He has an agreement to remain as coach until 2024, and his team have qualified for next year's World Cup.

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