Russia 2018: Renard happy with World Cup preparation

Russia 2018: Renard happy with World Cup preparation

Morocco did not lose any of their three test matches ahead of the upcoming World Cup. The results have boosted the morale of the Atlas Lions who are returning to the Mundial after 20 years of absence.

The North Africans kicked off their fine tuning with a goalless draw against Ukraine before humbling Slovakia 2-1 and then claiming a second win in a row against Estonia 3-1.

Fans and officials of Morocco appear to be satisfied with the form of the team ahead of their World Cup opener against Iran in Saint Petersburg, Russia on Friday.

However, coach Herve Renard, although happy with the progress of his charges, thinks the outfit is far from being perfect with five days to go.

Local pundits have slammed the Atlas Lions’ defence, with emphasis on fatigue issues of team.

Across all three friendlies, Morocco were always brilliant in the first half but returned from the break slumbering.

“I think we have to work on that more. Perhaps the World Cup spirit would change that. Maybe my players are trying to avoid injuries, but we have to put in our best to build confidence,” Renard said on Monday.

“Generally, we had a satisfactory preparation. The friendly matches’ results don’t really matter. We were trying to put every department in shape before the tournament and that has been a success.

“However, my defence needs the most attention. We need go after every ball and keep it off our back half. That’s the philosophy but we are yet to see that perfectly, probably when the competition starts proper.”

Morocco arrived in Russia on Saturday night.

“The atmosphere is fine and we are in good spirit. Que la fete commence (let the feast begin).”

The Lions will play their second match against Portugal on June 20 in Moscow before wrapping up the group stage against Spain in Kaliningrad on June 25.

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