Anderlecht coach Brian Riemer keeps pressure off for top match: “Club Brugge is a bit in the same boat”


Anderlecht will play against Club Brugge on Sunday. The supporters are already in all states, but a defeat in Jan Breydel can really lead RSCA towards the relegation zone. Coach Brian Riemer keeps calm, all the more so because reinforcements arrive with flank attacker Anders Dryer. “The last three days of training have been excellent.”

Jurgen Geril

Club Brugge – Anderlecht is normally a topper in the title fight. Now it is the number four against the number 11. Although it is also a duel between RSCA coach Brian Riemer and Club coach Scott Parker. Both know each other from England where they played four against each other. As assistant to Brentford, Riemer won three times, but in the play-offs for promotion to the Premier League, Riemer lost against Parkers’ Fulham.

“To my frustration, he won the most important match, yes,” said Riemer. “His team then delivered an excellent performance and scored from a long free kick: a nightmare for the keeper. So I know Scott Parker pretty well. He always did a good job, both at Fulham and then at Bournemouth. Two teams from the Championship are promoted to the Premier League: that is impressive in England. It will be a nice meeting on Sunday.”

However, the pressure is enormous. Club Brugge did not win five times in a row and can no longer afford a slip-up, but it is really a crisis at Anderlecht. If the Purple & White lose and tail teams like Zulte Waregem or Kortrijk take points again, then the relegation zone really beckons. “Both Bruges and Anderlecht are somewhat in the same boat. With us, the situation is perhaps a bit more difficult because we have fewer points, but it is comparable. We also know that Bruges is a big club with a lot of money and high expectations and that it would be a heavy blow if they lost on Sunday. But we must focus on ourselves. It is up to us to deliver a good performance there.”

Physical labor

Riemer especially does not want to be negative. “There is pressure at Anderlecht and Club Brugge will be a difficult opponent, but I will not sit here every press conference to judge. When I started I knew that our program looked heavy in the beginning. Well, we’re going to keep playing until the last game before the playoffs and only then will I take stock and see how many points we have. Even if we win in Bruges I will not judge. We are in a process of integrating our style of play and that takes time.”

When he arrived, Brian Riemer was amazed at the physical readiness of the players. “The condition of the players is not yet what it should be. Unfortunately, football players are not cars in which you just throw petrol and drive them full house. We now have to carefully build up that condition without forcing boys. We are now laying the foundation, but the players are very motivated. I enjoy working with them every day and try to keep out all non-football related issues. The last three days the level has been really good in training and I hope they bring the same on Sunday as against Union for Moussa N’Diaye’s red card.”

Anderlecht will have to do without the support of its fans. Away supporters are not allowed in and Club Brugge sold all seats to their own supporters. “We will miss the fans. They were also magical in the previous matches. But no matter how full the stadium is with Bruges fans, it remains eleven against eleven on the field. We want to give something back to our supporters. The conversation I had with the supporters last week was also very constructive.”

Danish asset

Still, a victory seems to be especially necessary to calm things down somewhat. Or a transfer. Anderlecht will soon announce the arrival of Anders Dryer, a flank attacker from Midtylland who will sign until 2027. “I have known Dryer since I lost to Esjberg with the U19 of FC Copenhagen”, Riemer concluded. “He beat me back then and it has always been a player that was highly regarded in Denmark. Check out his stats and you’ll see he’s always been decisive. When I was still working at Brentford, he was already on the radar there.”

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