With 7 out of 12, the balance of the Red Devils after four Nations League matches looks rather mediocre. Roberto Martinez saw “a good reaction from his team” in Poland. In Qatar it will have to be better anyway, the national coach also knows that. “The group is doing everything it can to go to the World Cup as strong as possible.”
“Should have scored more”
The Belgians won 0-1 yesterday in the Narodowy stadium, which was filled to the brim for the match between Poland and the Red Devils. National coach Roberto Martinez was satisfied with the tight, but deserved victory.
“We have shown that we have learned lessons from the performance in Wales,” said the Spaniard after the whistle. “We had a good reaction at home and did what it took here in that beautiful stadium to silence the home fans.”
“Poland sought the support of the public to develop pressure, but I have only seen that in the last ten minutes. To our credit we kept them out of the game and had things well under control.”
“We had seven corners, 66 percent possession and a lot of opportunities. The only regret is that we did not score a second goal, but we had enough opportunities.”
We had a good reaction in house and did what it took here in that beautiful stadium to silence those home fans.
“Tielemans played like a captain”
After a series of lesser performances and a disappointing season at Leicester City, Youri Tielemans put his nose in the window again against Poland. That pleased Martinez. “He is still very young, but actually plays like a captain.”
“Tactically he sees the game, he is intelligent and always found the space. In addition, he keeps the balance and provides that little bit extra. I am very satisfied with his performance.”
With the trio of Vertonghen, Dendoncker, Alderweireld, Martinez also seems to have found his defense for the World Cup. Is that right? “We opted for the threesome against Poland that had done so well at home, against a nevertheless very reputable striker.”
“They have shown personality, Leander has shown a lot in this camp with a view to the World Cup. In general, we have gathered a lot of information and made a solid step in the World Cup preparation. The group is doing everything it can to be as strong as possible. To be able to go to Qatar. It is a search for perfection, but also know that in life not everything can be perfect, so we miss too many opportunities.”
The group is doing everything it can to go to the World Cup as strong as possible.
“Right timing to extend contract only after the World Cup”
Martinez is allowed to bring 26 players to the World Cup in Qatar. Players such as Brandon Mechele and Wout Faes barely played in this four-part series. It doesn’t look too good for them, because now as many as 32 players have been called up. Martinez had another message for the Devils who played less in this four-part series.
“They have to keep working. A player like Faes can still have an important role in the national team in the future. He has the leadership we need.”
“I don’t know yet whether that will be in Qatar,” concluded the national coach, who also spoke about his expiring contract at VTM. According to various reports, that will be extended by 6 months because the association fears losing the national coach halfway through the season. But Martinez does not want to talk about his future until after the World Cup.
“For me that is the right timing. In international football you go from big tournament to big tournament.”
A player like Faes can still have an important role in the national team in the future. He has the leadership we need.