Defeating England is not a priority
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Roberto Martínez struck a different tone to Gareth Southgate by claiming winning their final group game against England is not a priority and insisting protecting his players from injury and suspension was of greater importance. [Image: nike_panthers_1574-180x180.jpg] With passage to the knockout stage assured for both teams, the Belgium manager could make as many as 10 changes to the side who comfortably defeated Tunisia. Martínez confirmed Romelu Lukaku, who has scored four goals in the tournament, will miss the match with an ankle injury, but he is also set Authentic Domantas Sabonis Jersey to rest other key personnel. [Image: nike_dolphins_1362.jpg]“We have qualified and that was the priority,” Martínez said. “Now we need to look at our individual players. We want to perform well but the priority is not to win. That is the reality, we have put ourselves in this Charles Clay Jerseysituation, we wanted to qualify and we have done that. “There are players on yellow cards. I don’t think it would be professional of us to put those players at a risk of missing the knockout phase. Players have been in very demanding games. It is very important to protect and give every player the best possible programme to be in the best condition in the knockout game.” Martínez said he was viewing the match as an opportunity for http://www.authenticmlbrangersstore.com/Authentic-Prince-Fielder-Jersey a celebration of what had been achieved, rather than a full-blooded contest. His attitude was in contrast to Southgate’s, who pledged to send out England to win this game as much as any other. It is understood Eden Hazard has requested to retain a place in Belgium’s starting XI but Martínez has his eye on future rounds and will make wholesale changes. “When I arrived in Moscow I said I believed in every player in this squad so it would be quite stupid for me not to believe in these players,” he said. “They have worked really well in training and have earned the right to start in a World Cup. “It is a good opportunity for us as http://www.officialtorontomapleleafs.com/Adidas-Bobby-Baun-Jersey a team to grow. All I want is to have a group of players that have had a good performance and everyone then has a better http://www.official49erslockerroom.com/elite-c.-j.-beathard-jersey individual opportunity to contribute to the team going into the knockout phase. That is our priority. If with that we can win, great, but our priority is another one than just winning tomorrow.” The most recent meeting between Belgium and England in a competitive fixture was at Italia 90. On that occasion a David Platt wonder goal in extra time sent England through to the semi-finals but Martínez suggested memories of that game would not have much significance in the Kaliningrad Arena 28 years on. “Italia 90 brought a lot of pain to Belgium’s people and Belgium fans,” he said. “I think this is a different game. I think it’s a celebration game. We have a lot of links between these two dressing rooms, players that Mikko Rantanen Authentic Jersey share the dressing room in the same league. At that point [1990] it was one or the other – it was a knockout game. It would have been very different if Harry Kane had not scored [the winner] in the last minute against Tunisia. Then it would http://www.officialauthenticpackerstore.com/Nike-Brett-Favre-Jersey.html have been a very different game and maybe then Platt’s goal would have been a memory for everyone. I think tomorrow is a celebration and two teams can enjoy being qualified for the knockout game.” Martínez is well acquainted with English football having managed Swansea, Wigan and Everton, and was full of praise for Southgate and the change in England’s playing style. What I see is Gareth Southgate has brought all his success from under-21 level and has developed an England culture,” he added. “I think there is a clear structure, there has been a real tactical awareness. They have found a system Alshon Jeffery Jerseythat suits this generation. There is a youth about them, an energy, a belief and a real desire.” cheap jerseys chinawholesale nfl jerseys from china cheap nfl jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys cheap jerseys wholesale jerseys wholesale nfl jerseyscheap nfl jerseys
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