Belgium have cancelled training ahead of their match with Tunisia to give the players a rest after ‘high physical effort’ at the World Cup so far. The Red Devils ran out 3-0 winners in their opening group game against Panama but also ran the risk of burning out too soon.
The players who weren’t involved in the opening game in Sochi undertook a light training session on Tuesday before all training was temporarily suspended the following day.
Manager Roberto Martinez demands a high level of performance from his sides and he got that against Panama. There is a little concern within the camp that his squad could burn out quickly and that could affect their chances deeper into the tournament.
According to the Sun, the Belgium camp have released the following statement: "The training session has been cancelled due to high physical efforts by the players in recent days as shown in the physical effort data. Therefore players get an extra day of rest."
It’s not the only setback within the Belgium camp this week, as captain Eden Hazard had some strong words at half-time of the Panama game for two-goal hero Romelu Lukaku.
Hazard has accused Lukaku of shirking his defensive duties in the victory over Panama, blaming his absence for the side's dogged performance in the first half as they struggled to break down a resilient Panama.
Martinez has moved to dismiss rumours of any conflict between the two players stating:
"I wouldn’t say it was criticism, I don’t think my team do that. But of course, we want to become better and demand from each other. If you are just happy to see how things go, that’s not a football team.
"We look for solutions together, and this is part of it. My team can say things to each other and it does not cause any problems.”
Martinez also moved to praise Belgium’s deadly striker after he got his World Cup off to a great start with a brace in his first game.
“Romelu is a real goal scorer, he always poses a threat. He has a lot of confidence in front of goal and is getting better at playing with our players.” Martinez said.