World Cup 2014: England were 'too scared' to perform says Romelu Lukaku

Belgian blames pressure put on England’s players

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The Independent Football

Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku has suggested that the pressure put on England’s players to perform in the World Cup hasleft them “scared” and unable to perform to their potential in this competition.

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The striker, whose loan period from Chelsea Everton are hoping to extend next season, said that the expectations put on the players in the English nation were “intense” and had proved impossible to cope with.

To the question of why England have struggled in the competition, he said: “I think there is a lot of pressure on the players. At the end of the season you saw in the newspapers the pressure about the World Cup. People were talking more about the World Cup than the end of the season in the Premier League, which was really intense.

"So I think there was maybe a lot of pressure on the players and you could see sometimes they were a bit scared as they didn't play with their normal habits. But you don't have to stress, england has a lot of potential, a lot of young players who will become world-class players and there are experienced players that can always bring something into the team.”


Lukaku missed the nation’s 2-1 defeat in Sao Paulo. “I was asleep. I was tired. I woke up and saw the result and was disappointed,” he said. “I will text Ross [Barkley] and [Leighton] Bainesy later on.”

The Belgians can qualify for the round of 16 by beating Russia in Rio de Janeiro this weekend and coach Marc Wilmots said that captain Vincent Kompany will play despite an injury scare.

Wilmots said: “There is no problem with Vincent. He didn’t train yesterday and he won’t train today because he has felt a tightness in his groin. But it is not a problem. It is a precaution. He will be fit to play.”

The 21-year-old Lukaku is looking for a better individual performance than the one that saw him substituted in the 2-1 defeat of Algeria. The Belgians needed Marouane Fellani’s brilliant second half performance, after arriving as a substitute, to see them home.