The Red Devils began their preparations for the European Championship with a difficult draw with Greece. After that, the players and coaches did not want to exaggerate the suspense. “This was a prep match to get some rhythm,” Yannick Carrasco said.
Mignolet: “He has not yet been trained on what to do in the fixed stages”
Simon Mignolet was the best demon on the field. Never a good sign. “I had to tackle some balls, but that in and of itself isn’t very important,” he said afterwards. These are training matches.
“However, our aim was definitely to win the game, especially if you were playing at home as No. 1 in the world. It didn’t work out. Even after 1-1 we kept trying, but we didn’t create chances.”
How did the goal come about? “The error before that free kick was minor, I think. And we haven’t trained yet on what to do in the fixed stages. It will happen in the next matches. It’s good that it happened now.
“What do you think about defense? It’s not my job to quote players. You also defend with 11.” What changed in the second half? “These substitutions shouldn’t have any effect, but the match changed a bit. But the Greeks played very coherently. They gave their heart and soul and put in a good performance.”
“The positive thing about this day is that a number of the boys were given minutes to play and they refilled their tanks for the European Championships.”
and switch with Sels? “It was agreed before the match. We wanted to give him a hat after his long injury. It’s worth it, too.”
Carrasco: “You now have a chance to be more decisive”
Yannick Carrasco also didn’t come to very big conclusions after the draw. “It’s tough. This is a really warm-up match where everyone can feel their legs again and so you can get physically back into the red again towards the top of the European Championship.”
“We have to get used to each other again. We haven’t played together for a few months. We have to forget about the result and look at the negatives and the positives. I thought it was a positive thing that the team wanted to win. The negative points, the coach has to work from tomorrow.”
Carrasco played himself in support of the striker. position he would like to occupy. “If Eden Hazard is not there, it is easier for me to occupy this place. If he is fit, the coach has to choose. Eden is important to us, but it is my favorite position. This is where I would prefer to play. But I would prefer to play elsewhere. to sit on the couch.”
Has his position within the team changed with the Spanish title in his pocket? “No, I’ve been with the group for a long time. I’ve always played more in the shadows, but in this position I have more opportunity to be decisive.”
Martinez: “We played hard in a training match”
“We are now more prepared for the European Championship than before the match,” concluded national team coach Roberto Martinez. “We needed the rhythm of the match. The players worked hard in training, but you can’t emulate that intensity in a match.”
“But we lacked some intensity. The pace was very slow, the defense was a bit weak. We played as if it was a training match. We have to play with the intensity we need in the tournament. After Sunday’s game, we really have to get it. The competitive level.”
“We have to realize that today was not a win, but an improvement. It was a success because no one was hurt and no one went down. But of course we wanted to win. Greece did well and we managed it” to play our game. We definitely need to watch this match closely.”
Was Martinez happy with the bench performance? “Yeah, I was very surprised by Dennis Praet’s performance. He hasn’t played for a long time and he’s played for 90 minutes now, the opener. I was also happy with Dooku. He’s good with the ball on the foot, but he’s also now more complete than he was in March. He did. Carrasco and Lukaku did well after a successful season.”
“And I also thought it was important for Sellles to wear a hat. These are uncertain times and we probably need more than two goalkeepers. In the tournament, you need more than 11 players anyway. So this match did not teach me anything about the start of the eleven against Russia., But I got a lot of information.”