Friday 12 March 2021 23:45

Philippe Clement: “Threw away two points”

A downcast Philippe Clement analysed Club's draw at Charleroi, in a game where Blue and Black started out well and took a deserved lead, only to see the equaliser go in in the very last minute of the game.

“We threw away two points here today”, Clement started out. “We played a fine first half, particularly those first thirty minutes, with dominance, creating chances, and opening the score. That second half was of a much lower quality. We weren't as good in duelling, while Charleroi started to find its way back into the game too, and put more pressure. We were now in a situation where any good ball for them could prove fatal. We didn't play our cut-throat style of football, even if Pérez playing time pleased me. Mitrović, Mechele and Balanta were also pulling their weight in this battle.”

Philippe Clement
Philippe Clement

“In any event, I reckon our second half was not good enough, and that's when you get what's coming to you. Just now, I told my players in the dressing room that we threw away two points in the second half. Credit should go to Charleroi too, but we owe it to ourselves mostly to have lost too many duels. You'll get into trouble against any team, but particularly against Charleroi, with its fine physical game. So it's our own responsibility that we missed out on those two points. But there's a second reason, judging by the footage I just saw. It's clear that Sobol was fouled inside the box, his foot kicked away, so I really don't understand why we haven't been awarded a spot kick. Maybe the VAR was getting a cola or something, I just can't explain it. For the past two years, I have urged my players not to enter into discussion and to focus on playing football. The VAR has just one job, and that is to scrutinize the footage. And the conclusion is that these kinds of things, just have to be seen. No doubt about that. I'm really curious as to what the explanation will be, but I don't believe there is one.”


That late equaliser was a setback, but Club's coach does not fear the negative impact on his players. “I don't know why this could creep into our heads. We know Charleroi and Gent away is always difficult. We just need to regain our composure and focus. If they would have brought the entire 90 minutes what they showed the first 35, we wouldn't even be talking about that Sobol mishap. I will do whatever it takes to get my players to stay focused the entire ninety minutes. That is my demand. They have brought so much joy and beauty to themselves, the fans, the board, you name it. But this can only be achieved with a ninety minute-long full focus.” (SF)

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