Wednesday 28 August 2019 23:30

Philippe Clement: “A legendary night at Jan Breydel”

A scintillating Jan Breydel was witness to how Philippe Clement managed to coach yet another team in the Champions League group stages. Club Brugge's T1 swoll with pride recounting the night's events.

“Never has it been done in the history of Belgian football that a team managed to qualify through the non-champions track, so it's very fair to say that this is a downright stunt. A member of the board told me at the start of the season that we have a 5% shot at making it, so it's even better that we actually did so. As a player and as an assistant coach, I have had my share of legendary nights at Jan Breydel. Now I added one as a coach too. But it's not about me. The most important is that we are capable of doing great things with people. Last season with Genk, and now here with Club Brugge. I thoroughly enjoy watching people being happy, and get the best of themselves. My job is that of a catalyst, steering people in the right direction, but it's still up to those guys to do it themselves.”

Philippe Clement
Philippe Clement

By taking of Loïs Openda at half time, Clement opted for someone other than last week's star player. “Loïs had more of a rough time than at Linz. I'm very happy with his performance. He has made quite some headway, but it's not easy playing routined defenders like that. Hency my choice to put Okereke up front and Percy Tau on the left. Whether I'm happy with how Federico Ricca did? I'm not one for cherry picking, but I'm definitely happy with the way he played. He's picking things up eagerly. He's still a young chap, but brings quite some experience to the table at a high level.”


It seemed like a done deal after Hans Vanaken's header, but minutes later the score was back in balance. “That was one of the few moments in the game I was not happy with, a momentary lapse of concentration. A good learning school, however. Things are bound to go wrong at times in the coming months, it's just a question of learning of such bad moments.”


Next up on Sunday, the two Belgian CL teams are set to meet as KRC Genk makes the trip to Jan Breydel. “A very special game that will be. Games with Genk against Club always came with meeting up with old acquaintances, and this time will be no different. Those players are like my children, so I have a special bond with them. But that's only before and after the game. During we will do everything we can to make sure we come out on top.” (SF)

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