Ivan Leko: “For me it is also Champions League on Friday"

Ivan Leko had to prepare the match against Lokeren in a period dominated by messages about the Champions League and without multiple internationals. The coach stressed the importance of the physical and mental aspect at the start of a busy period.

Leko about… his team

Dennis is missing in the team selection for the game against Lokeren after a couple of good performances. "It is pity to lose Dennis because he was doing well the past couple of weeks. We hope he will be able to join the team selection again for Tuesday's game. The match against Dortmund will come too soon for Nakamba." Cools is also missing in the team selection after a busy period. "Dion played two times 90 minutes in a short period of time with the Belgian U21. The internationals came back on Wednesday which only gave me one day to see who is both mentally and physically ready for the next match."

 

Leko about… focus after the break

“You have to switch from playing with Hazard and Modric to playing against Lokeren in the Jupiler Pro League. That is a dangerous situation", says Leko. "We are proud on our internationals but our focus is now on the next match with the guys who are ready for it. Tomorrow I want to see how serious and stable we can be as a team. The new contracts and our first place in the Jupiler Pro League are also good news but it also creates a dangerous situation. Tomorrow is already Champions League for me."

 

Leko about… the schedule

Club start a very busy period with 7 matches in 23 days. "Yes, the Champions League is a top priority at Club but the next match is the most important one just as it was last year. Consequently, most attention needs to go to the next game. The best players will play against Lokeren. No one will rest but we will also be careful in a certain way. Keeping the focus to end every game in a good way is part of our process to improve."

 

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