Timothy Derijck does not want to throw in the towel yet in the relegation battle with Essevee: “We will have to fight to the last gasp”

Good old Derijck was assigned two new lieutenants at Stayen with Sormo and Borja Lopez: “Another unprecedented defense”, the 35-year-old central defender sighed. “There was no automaticity, but until that 1-0 we hardly gave anything away. We were pretty good defensively. Of course they limited themselves to waiting and were emphatically lurking for the counterattack.”

By the way, Essevee started the duel pretty well. After three minutes, Schmidt had to go all out on a header from Sissako, but then Zulte Waregem’s offensive engine faltered. “Just like in Deinze”, Derijck acknowledged the lack of creativity up front. “We missed Jelle Vossen. Such a person is indispensable to us. He can create something out of nothing. It is therefore no shame that we are weakened if he is not there.”

Emergency brake and take a shower

Even before the break, the game seemed decided. Sörmo choked on an intervention. With a bit of luck, the ball caprioled to Bruno, who took off in the direction of Bostyn. Sörmo pulled the emergency brake and was allowed to take a shower immediately. “Red was a strict verdict”, Derijck complained, who could no longer count on Mbaye Leye’s advice after the break.

“Bizarre. Suddenly we saw Patrick Asselman take the lead along the sidelines”, Derijck sounded genuinely surprised. “No idea why our coach got red. Everything actually went very smoothly in the players tunnel.” But ref Lardot thought otherwise. After a perhaps strong exchange of views, he handed out a red card to Leye, who had to follow the remainder of the party in the stands.

In the second half, Essevee tried to make a fist, but that did not result in any more scoring opportunities. “With ten men it was of course very difficult and in the end you swallow that second goal all too easily. Then the books could go. Of course you lack some confidence, we are where we are.”

Dropped further

In the ranking, Derijck and co. further away again. “We should not suddenly start to despair. Of course it is not nice if you know that Kortrijk and Eupen managed to win on this match day. This was therefore a very important party. Above all, we must look at ourselves. It really has to be better. Or that was already haunting the heads of some boys beforehand? I think certain players were quite busy with that.”

Tranquility and realism, these are the watchwords of Derijck, who realizes that his team is facing a long relegation battle. “We’ve known that for a while. I have been saying for a while that five teams will probably have to fight for retention until the last match day. Obviously it is not an easy situation for us. But we have no other choice: we will have to fight to the last gasp.”

“We have a tough program in January, but maybe there will be some reinforcements after all. It will be difficult for us, but that also applies to the other teams at the bottom. Everyone knows what needs to be improved, but we are clearly searching. You have to keep believing in it, otherwise there’s no point. But that is clearly not the case with this group, the belief in the good outcome is still intact.”

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