June 3, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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De Bruyne won’t float past ‘positive’ start: ‘We know we can do better’ | European Championship qualifying round

They only had 4 days to train together, but the Red Devils started the Tedesco era strong. De Bruyne agreed: “I think we played well.”

“For the first 15 minutes it might have been a bit of a search, but I think we were solid defensively, gave the Swedes a few chances and had enough chances.”

“In the second half there was a moment when we could have kept calm a little more. We know we can do better, but to play like this as a team after 4 days is very positive.”

“It’s been a bit of a search with a lot of new guys, but we haven’t made a lot of mistakes. It’s the start of a new process and the guys can be very proud.”

What did the national coach really ask of his core team? “Stay grounded defensively and press together as a team at the right times,” De Bruyne revealed.

“On the right, we knew that with Dodi Lukbakio and Johan Bakayoko we could exploit the 1-to-1 situation and we did. And with Romelu we know he will always score if we play to his strengths.”

“Everything could be better, but we can build on this. In the end, we try to do our best. This gives confidence to the young people, who have been waiting for the opportunity and seized it today.”

Amadou Onana also spoke of a match that gave “confidence”. “We’ve quickly adapted to a new system and a new coach. It’s good mentally,” said the Everton midfielder.

“We did a lot well, but there is also a lot to improve. We can build ourselves on this in the future. It was a good debut for the New Devils.”

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“How did it feel to play with De Bruyne? It’s a pleasure. His form is fantastic. He also communicates a lot and also tells us where we need to be.”