Roberto Martinez stated it’s “tough for me to speak about rumours” after addressing hypothesis he may change Ronald Koeman as Barcelona boss.
Martinez noticed his Belgium aspect defeated 2-1 by Italy in Sunday’s Nations League third-place play-off, having misplaced to the Azzurri by the identical scoreline within the quarter-finals of Euro 2020.
Talking after Sunday’s recreation, Martinez was requested about hyperlinks to Barca, with Koeman’s place below risk after an detached begin in LaLiga this season and back-to-back 3-0 defeats to Bayern Munich and Benfica within the Champions League.
“It’s tough for me to speak about rumours. I’ve been working with this crew for 5 years and am totally focused on this function,” Martinez instructed reporters post-match.
“We got here to the Nations League to win it and didn’t handle that, however now we put together for World Cup qualifying. I’ve nothing extra so as to add.”
Nicolo Barella’s objective and a Domenico Berardi penalty had been sufficient for Italy to defeat Belgium, for whom Charles De Ketelaere’s first worldwide objective was not sufficient to mount a comeback.
It marked the primary time Belgium have suffered back-to-back aggressive defeats since September 2010 and Martinez, whose crew let a two-goal lead slip towards France within the semi-final on Thursday, was left annoyed.
“The penalty was a debatable resolution and one which frankly I don’t agree with. I attempt to be respectful with the referee, however you want expertise at a match of this degree,” he added.
“We’re very annoyed by VAR intervening towards France, saying referees must be given accountability for his or her choices, however why didn’t the VAR intervene right now when the referee wanted assist? The frustration grew as the sport wore on.”
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Substitute Kevin de Bruyne, who assisted De Ketelaere’s late comfort objective, was additionally disillusioned however felt the expertise has been good for a few of Belgium’s youthful squad members.
“We did properly at occasions towards some prime groups and had many new faces who did greater than an honest job right now,” De Bruyne instructed Belgian outlet HNL.
“It’s a superb expertise for them to have the ability to play towards opponents of this calibre, however sadly we misplaced twice.
“With all due respect, taking part in towards Estonia shouldn’t be the identical factor and these challenges are essential for us to develop, each as people and as a crew.
“We’re ‘simply’ Belgium. It’s a brand new era, we had been lacking Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard right now, so we have now to be real looking in regards to the crew we have now.
“Italy, France and Spain have 22 prime gamers to select from and we don’t.”