Belo Horizonte: After a 12-year World Cup famine, success-starved Belgium are preparing to feast on their opponents, says midfielder Kevin De Bruyne.
The 22-year-old was named Man of the Match on Tuesday after helping Belgium come from a goal down to score a precious 2-1 victory over Algeria in Group H.
De Bruyne produced a dynamic second half performance as the Red Devils recovered from the shock of conceding a 25th-minute penalty by Sofiane Feghouli.
“We have a lot of expectations as do the supporters,” he said.
“But every match is a tough one. We will take them one at a time.
“If we take three points against Russia then we will see after that. But we are hungry for more. I would even say we are famished...” he added.
Belgian manager Marc Wilmots, who caused some consternation among the players with his line-up and positioning, said his side needed to adapt to their relatively recent status of being considered outsiders for the title.
“Our opponents are scared of us and therefore they realign their tactics when they play us,” said the 45-year-old, who has yet to lose a competitive match since he took over at the helm in 2012.
“We are maybe the fastest team in the world on the counter-attack — as was clear in the lead-up to our second goal — therefore our adversaries play very deep in order to try and deny us space.
“Russia (who the Belgians play on Sunday) will probably also defend really deep. I hope they don’t, but if it is the case, we will have to deal with it.”
Wilmots’ substitutions in the second-half changed the game with two of them Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens getting on the scoresheet.
Wilmots was also delighted by the mental strength shown by his side.
“The resilience and the mental strength they showed will stand them in good stead for the future,” said Wilmots, who revealed he had written on the board in the dressing room prior to the match that the substitutes would make the difference.
Fellaini, who had a miserable debut season with Manchester United failing to score a single goal, said talk of Belgium being among the favourites should be disregarded.
“We are not the favourites for the tournament,” said the 26-year-old former Everton star.
“It’s Brazil who are playing at home and who must win on that basis. The pressure is not on us.”