Shadow coach Jules Verriest sees ‘his’ Cercle finish in the top eight: “I am proud of my team, it is second to none”

“Hotic is out of contract and apparently doesn’t want to sign yet. Somehow you notice that in his game”, says Shadow coach Jules Verriest. — ©  Isosport

After seven unbeaten matches in a row, Cercle went against Westerlo last Saturday, even though it was their counterpart. That was also the conclusion of our shadow coach Jules Verriest. Even at the age of 76, the Cercle icon still has a very clear view of football and his Cercle. “I am proud of this Cercle and believe that they will make it to the top eight.”

Koen Verdruye

Respect for sports management

“We should be thankful to AS Monaco for making all of this possible. But I do hope they get more of a constant in policy. It is a pity that the CEO is gone after barely a year and a half. Hopefully sports manager Carlos Avina will stay for a while. He does an excellent job and respect for what he put down. There is a lot of quality in this group and some players can also handle a higher level. The trainer is also a hit. His style is catching on and earning points.”

Avoid transfer hassles

“It has not become any easier for people in their seventies like me. I don’t understand the constant coming and going in football. I can still understand that they don’t stay with the same club all their lives as we did. But all six months change? I do not get that. That keeper (Majecki, red.) will probably return to Monaco after the season and that will also be the case with Daland. Hotic is out of contract and apparently does not want to sign yet. Somewhere you notice that in his game, which weighs uncertainty and so they have to try to avoid those transfer worries. And one grass is often greener on another. Take Charles De Ketelaere, who lived in the area for a long time. A great talent, excellent footballer but he is having a hard time at Milan now. Abroad is also not the promised land and although the intensity here is very high and it is a difficult competition that many misjudge, the level is not that high.”

More quality than the competition

“Anderlecht is a big question mark these days. Do they still make it to the top 8, I don’t dare put money on it. Genk, Union, Antwerp, Club Brugge and Gent are certainties, but is Standard better than Cercle? I do not think so. Westerlo is the revelation but underwent the game on Saturday and won thanks to a controversial penalty. We are also not inferior to Leuven and STVV and KV Mechelen now has to look down rather than up. Cercle has a lot of quality in house. Daland of course, but the entire defense is there week after week. I think Lopes is an excellent player and Hotic also when he is concentrated. And Denkey is a very good striker, I think. He was less on Saturday, but he really weighs on a defense. No, this Cercle is not inferior to anyone, I am proud of my team and believe that they will make it to the first eight.”

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