Sunday 7 March 2021 19:15

Philippe Clement: “Satisfied with the result after two mental blows”

Philippe Clement saw that his team had recovered well from the mental blow against Standard. The blue and black secured a smooth 3-0 home win against Zulte Waregem.

“I am extremely pleased with this victory. Especially concidering the two mental blows last week. It wasn't fun to see so many players out with COVID-19. There was only one possibly worse moment and that was during the Play Offs. As a group we talked about the importance to respond immediately. And we did, so I can't ask for much more. I realise that I'm a tough person who raises the bar every time. The only thing I was focussed on was to react after the two big disappointments. We're working hard the year around to achieve certain goals, then it's harsh when you're out of the competition."

Philippe Clement
Philippe Clement

Goal scorer Youssouph Badji was taken off the pitch after only half an hour and replaced by Daniel Pérez, but the coach had his reasons. "I had doubted before the game. Daniel isn't with us for a long time, but he showed good things on the training ground. I started Badji against Standard because he's been longer with us, but Pérez did great when he came on. Today I made the same choice, but I didn't think Badji executed his tasks properly. We started the match good, but we didn't hold the ball long enough in front. If one player does too many things differently, then it has an effect on the entire team. That's the reason why I replaced him. But that's not a reason to think that the hierarchie remains like that, because I have no hierarchie. There's also no reason to think that I don't believe in Badji anymore. Not in the last. He just needs to learn the right leassons and I'm sure he will. I expect him back on Tuesday with the desire to prove himself."

 

Club secured a 10th league win in a row and is now fifteen points clear, with two games in hand. A comfortable lead you would think. "Comfortable is a poor choice of words for me. If we had lost today, then people would have said that we have a problem and other teams would close in on us. That's how quickly it can go. I want my players to be very ambitious and try to improve themselves each game and every training session. In my last team talk before the game I said we could write history today by winning. It was seventeen years ago that Club won ten league matches in a row. That's not an easy thing to do. It's now up to us to build on this momentum. Hans' performance was better than Thursday's against Standard and so was Noa's. Mats trained for the first time yesterday and was able to get on the pitch at the end of the game. Denswil and Mitrovic are feeling a lot better as well, but the recovery capacity of players who had COVID is a lot lower than four weeks ago." (SF)

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