England 1-0 Belgium: Post-match reactions

After today’s friendly between England and Belgium at Wembley, several Belgian players, as well as the Rode Duivels’ interim coach had their say on events.

Marc Wilmots – interim coach, speaking to Sporza:

“We made the game in England, there are few teams who do that. England had not a single chance in the first half-hour. They scored after our own mistake. Dembélé should have done better there. We must improve in such situations. For the rest of it, we had a lot of possession but we were faced with two banks of four in front of us. I saw more quality for Belgium than for England.

“I saw a lot of positive things. Such as the achievements of Vertonghen and Gillet as full-backs and the work of Witsel and Fellaini in midfield.  We could do with having more players like Fellaini. I am very happy with the manner in which we played: not with long balls but quick over the ground with one or two touches. The only thing I would say is that Mertens and Hazard should have tried more to get around the back of their markers.

“The players gave it everything and are done out. I must really thank them for their effort in these two games. They have earned their holiday. Tomorrow it’s time for a holiday. We have worked well. That is important. It is now for the football association to take responsibility.”

Marouane Fellaini to RTBF

“The coach has shown that he has the head to be the head coach. I would not understand anyone else coming. All the players want him to stay. I hope that the federation will understand that he is important for the team.

(On the match) We were in the game, we had possession and we played good football. We are frustrated because we deserved a draw. This evening we learned, we gained experience. We feel that we are a unit, the players work for one another, that’s new.

Guillaume Gillet to Sporza

“Pity (on his shot, which struck the post). I really wanted to score here.

“It was not easy for me at right-back. I have not played there much during the past season. I had to feel my way into it but after that it went fairly well. I know that with the national team I have to concentrate on this position. We shall see what the future will bring.

“I think that everyone did their work today but we need a good result. It would be better to have played less well but win. We must stop handing out presents.”

Jan Vertonghen to Sporza:

“There was a lot more to be taken (out of that game). I am disappointed about the result. We didn’t have enough punch upfront. With Lukaku and Fellaini at the end we created much more room. We should have created more chances. There was too much at the same tempo, too much also in tight spaces.

“We must get accustomed to each other’s qualities. It was a good match for that. It went for me at left-back against Milner and Walcott.”

Romelu Lukaku to Sporza

“It was a nice experience here at Wembley. I think that we – if you look at our possession and chances – should have gone away with at least a draw. Maybe even with a win. Now we have to put together a complete team and get results in the World Cup qualifiers.

“What will happen with me next season? That is my story. People will hear it.”
Nacer Chadli to RTBF

“Marc Wilmots is a coach who knows the group very well. He’s someone who is strict, who knows what he wants and he knows where he wants to go. There was scope for us to do better, we created some chances. The difference is that they managed to take one of theirs. We made a small mistake and they scored.”

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