Roberto Martinez: ‘To be able to take a point when we are not playing well is important’
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Roberto Martinez: ‘To be able to take a point when we are not playing well is important’

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Belgium’s head coach, Roberto Martinez, was evidently not satisfied with the team’s performance in the World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic, which resulted in a 1-1 draw.

“We made too many errors, but we also showed resilience,” he said at the post match press conference. “We didn’t really show our true selves, especially when it came to [ball] possession. We had to show a different side, another aspect to our game.”

As often though, Martinez preferred to focus on the positives. “I am satisfied with the commitment of my players. We defended well, showed resilience and were able to react. The Czechs had many chances and are in a very good form. When you don’t play to your level, not losing is vital. The team took one point, while not reaching our true level.”

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Showing class and recognising the Czech Republic’s quality, the coach felt the result was fair. “They managed to press high up the field with a lot of energy. To react [to the high press] wasn’t easy, but we managed. Firstly by scoring [an equaliser] and then creating chances. The Czech’s are capable of reaching the World Cup. I’m not surprised of their performance. Tonight they managed to create a good high press, playing a dynamic game. We have to give them credit for what they did and congratulate them on their performance.”

Martinez went on to praise the introduction and play of Czech substitutes Thomas Foket and Leandro Trossard. “They had a positive influence on the game and raised their team’s level.” The coach also commented on the substitution of Dries Mertens. “He fell on his shoulder, but I can’t give any diagnose.”

On Tuesday, the Red Devils face Belarus in Leuven. On the team selection, the coach said it was “important to keep the players fresh” and that they would evaluate the players [fitness] individually.

The Brussels Times