You are currently viewing VIDEO: The question marks for Martinez: "Doku is ready to play, defense is not fixed yet"

“We are excited,” Roberto Martinez began the press moment. “When you get on the plane, you realize that the tournament is really about to start. Everyone is focused on their task. We want to enjoy the field tomorrow.”

“We know Russia well. The teams no longer have many secrets from each other. Russia is a team with a lot of experience. They can also play in different ways. I think we are ready.”

Are there more expectations around the team now than three years ago? “Maybe. There are also more neutral fans who follow us, but this team is experienced enough to deal with those expectations.”

“The first match is difficult and tomorrow in Russia it will be a real test. The two teams also know each other well. I will only decide which defense I will play with after the last training. The 5 defenders are ready.”

The question mark is mainly, will it be Vermaelen or Denayer? “Every player is different, but it won’t change much for the team. They both read the game well, they are good on the ball and they communicate well. They are modern central defenders. But we play 3 matches in 11 days so we want to use fresh players.”

And will it be Jeremy Doku instead of Dries Mertens? “Jeremy Doku is ready. You should not look at his age. He is 19, but he is older as a football player. He has made strides since his introduction. He can start and score. But in this tournament it is not about who gets to start , there are 5 substitutions, the point is that they have to be ready when they can play.”

Roberto Martinez also provided a medical update on some players. “Leandro Trossard and Boyata are 100 percent fit. They just train with the group.”

Axel Witsel and Kevin De Bruyne stayed in Tubize. “They follow an individual program there. They are not good enough to play tomorrow and by staying in Tubize they gain time. But I am satisfied with their progress.”

“Witsel is definitely in the selection of 26. He is already training with the group and is doing well. I don’t think he will miss much after this match. De Bruyne also trained separately yesterday. Above all, he should be able to play football freely again .”

Martinez: “Doku or Mertens? It’s not about who starts, but they have to be ready”

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