Roberto Martinez waits for the beginning of Belgium’s second outing of the 2022 FIFA World Cup towards Morocco. AP
Doha: Belgium coach Roberto Martinez mentioned his gamers have been weighed down by a “concern of dropping” of their shock World Cup defeat by Morocco on Sunday.
The world’s second-ranked aspect must beat 2018 runners-up Croatia on Thursday to make certain of a last-16 place after their 2-0 loss on the Al Thumama Stadium.
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“I do suppose it’s as a result of we performed with a concern of dropping,” mentioned Martinez.
“They work so arduous for one another off the ball however then on the ball I don’t see that enjoyment…
“We’re a crew that’s normally enjoying on the assault. We’re not enjoying with pleasure. It’s perhaps the burden on our shoulders.”
Belgium have reached a minimum of the quarter-finals of the previous 4 main tournaments and completed third within the 2018 World Cup.
They sit second in Group F, having laboured to a 1-0 win over Canada of their opener, forward of Sunday’s later match between the North People and Croatia.
“Within the final sport now we have to play to win it and as if now we have nothing to lose,” added Martinez.
“If we win towards Croatia we’re (nonetheless) within the World Cup and that’s an enormous motivation.”
Captain Eden Hazard was a peripheral determine for lengthy intervals and was changed by Dries Mertens with half an hour remaining.
“Eden, his function was to attempt to get to 60 minutes. We have now to study from the previous,” mentioned Martinez.
“He had a really sturdy efficiency, most likely the perfect I’d seen him since towards Portugal within the Euros (final 12 months).”
Harm-plagued Hazard scored the winner towards Portugal however then was pressured off late on with a hamstring damage that stored him out of Belgium’s subsequent quarter-final loss to Italy.
“We needed to study from the previous. It was an excessive amount of of a threat in that second,” added Martinez.
Veteran defender Jan Vertonghen mentioned the defeat was right down to a scarcity of creativity in assault.
The Belgians managed solely 4 makes an attempt at objective within the second half and their clearest alternative fell to Michy Batshuayi within the fourth minute.
“We’re hardly creating any possibilities. A number of issues undergo my thoughts now, however these are issues which might be finest not mentioned on digicam,” Vertonghen informed broadcaster TV Sporza.
“It could solely get higher. We needed to qualify for the second spherical in the present day towards Morocco. It didn’t work out.
“Now it’s make or break towards Croatia on Thursday.”
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