Bordeaux - Spain boss Vicente del Bosque admitted he would rather have avoided a Euro 2016 last 16 clash with old foes Italy after a 2-1 defeat to Croatia on Tuesday.
Ivan Perisic's goal three minutes from time condemned the two-time defending champions to second place in Group D and repeat of the 2012 final with Italy in Paris on Monday.
"It is not ideal, that would have been to finish first (in the group)," said Del Bosque.
"We have to recover well. We are prepared to turn this situation around.
"We continue in the competition and, although it isn't the desired way, we have to raise ourselves to continue in the Euros."
Del Bosque lamented letting slip an early lead made by Alvaro Morata. Despite the absence of the injured Luka Modric, Croatia roared back through Nikola Kalinic and Perisic's late strike.
Spain could now also have to face world champions Germany in the quarter-finals and hosts France in the semi-finals if they are to reach the final in Paris on July 10.
"We have time to analyse the meeting with Italy. It was not the desired route for us," added Del Bosque.
"That is football, it seemed like we had the game controlled, but in football you can't take anything for granted.
"We will try to recover from this disappointment and prepare for Monday.
"They (Italy) have been playing very well, but so had we until today and even today I don't think we played badly."