Roberto Martinez spoke after the Red Devils’ 2-1 victory over Wales in the Nations League and notably returned to his red card at the end of the game.
Roberto Martinez, will you be present in Amsterdam on Sunday? We imagine that this is the first time that you have received a red card as a coach…
Yes, it’s the first time! I admit that I was a little surprised to be excluded in this way, it was not much. But well, it is clear that I should have left the ball to the Welsh player, not to quibble with it. We’ll see what happens, I hope to be cleared by UEFA by then. If I have to be replaced, I have a technical staff who will be able to do it, my assistants Thierry Henry or Anthony Barry in this case.
How do you judge the performance of your players against the Welsh?
Our first half was very good, with quick moves that were impressive. We created a lot of danger without managing to increase the score. In the second half our game was a little too slow, we played a little too easy.
Do you have any more to say about the once again sparkling Kevin De Bruyne?
It’s an important message for fans not to take Kevin’s performance for granted. The use he makes of space, but especially the speed of execution, all of this made his performance magical. But he did it several times during this Nations League, he is part of the continuity.
What about Eden Hazard?
I found him free, liberated by pain, he is in line with what I saw in June. The talent is there, many of his moves have been magical. From now on, he must find the intensity of the sequence of meetings that he does not have at Real Madrid.
Zeno Debast had a mixed start, between his good overall performance and this duel lost on the Welsh goal. What do you think?
Honestly, I discussed it after the game, in my eyes it’s one of the best debuts for an 18-year-old Red Devil who has little experience. Stéphane Demol in 86? (Editor’s note: he was questioned by Stefan Van Loock, the press manager). It goes back a very long time, so let’s say that I base my observation since 1986! (laughs). This goal conceded, he will learn from that, I have no doubt. But the way he defended in a lot of space, I found that remarkable.
What do you expect from Sunday’s game against the Netherlands? It would take a miracle to qualify for the Final Four…
For me, the match in the Netherlands is an ideal preparation for the World Cup. We are playing against a neighbour, away, in front of a lot of supporters… We have to score a lot of goals, that should motivate us to win this game. And we’ll see what it will have in store for us in the end…