Hans Vanaken: “Had difficulty creating space”

Little wriggling room for Hans Vanaken as Club's Golden Shoe was unable to unravel the tight organisation at Mouscron. That final pass went missing, and the team lacked creativity around the box.


“We claimed the ball and were on their half most of the time. We just couldn't find that opening. Once you find it, it becomes 0-1, and it's a completely different game. They will be forced to take risks, freeing up space for us to go on the break or create more actions. It's not as if we didn't try, sometimes it works better than it did today. We had trouble finding space. We almost went through it a couple of times, but were a bit unlucky after that, or didn't get to put in that final good pass. In games like this, you just have to try and score early in the game, making it so much easier on yourself."

Hans Vanaken
Hans Vanaken

Finding the reason why it's so hard to open up games like these is hard. “It starts from the build-up in order to find space in between the lines. The space where the wingers, Ruud and myself need to be able to push through and give that final ball. That's what we didn't show enough today. What was also lacking was creativity around the box. We managed to push through on the wings, but the subsequent ball then wasn't good enough, or we weren't present enough. It makes it so much harder to score a goal. We score too little at this point, and have trouble finding the opening. We have to keep working hard and get that machine running again like it used to. I have the liberty to play in any system, I'm the type of player who needs that liberty to be able to intuitively find the space where I can direct the game. My mission today was to move a lot between the lines, to be present there. But I believe I had the ball too little to be able to create the difference.”


The Zenit game will be something different entirely. "Teams like Mouscron tend to fall back and defend, it's not how Champions League teams play. They tend to want to play a bit more and leave a bit more space. I consider it an entirely different game than today's. Obviously you want to take a win to that game, but unfortunately it didn't work out. As of tomorrow, our minds should be on Wednesday. We need to realise that that game will be very different to today's game, and try and safeguard that third spot.” (KN)

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