Mark van Bommel continues to count on Frey and looks ahead to a triptych against Union: “The toughest, but not the worst draw”


Antwerp – Union, get used to it. On Sunday, the numbers 2 and 3 will face each other in the competition and in the semi-final of the Croky Cup, a double confrontation between RAFC and RUSG awaits. “The toughest, but not the worst draw,” said Mark van Bommel, who also came back to Michael Frey’s statement. “I assume that it was not his last game for Antwerp.”

Hannes Van Gael

“No questions about Genk?” Mark van Bommel asked halfway through his press chat. The Dutch coach clearly felt like talking about last Wednesday’s reference match. “It came close to the way we really want to play.”

Happy with ‘home advantage’ in the cup

However, there is not much time to reflect on that 0-3, because the Great Old has to visit the vice champion again on Sunday. And of course there was the draw for the semi-final of the cup, where Union also came out of the drum. “We already had a nice list, we could add two more top matches. On paper it’s the toughest draw, but I don’t think it’s the worst possible. I’m glad we’re playing the return in front of a home crowd. It is no guarantee to push through (Basaksehir proved that at the Bosuil at the end of August, ed.), but emotionally it is just more pleasant. Especially if we can play for an audience like ours.”

But first there is Sunday’s highlight. Antwerp proved on Wednesday that it can be deadly on the counterattack, but so is Union. “I don’t know their plan, but we always want to have the ball”, Van Bommel looks ahead to the six-point match. Because that could become the gap if Union wins on Sunday. “We have to look at it as one game. What comes next is not interesting. This is how you should approach it in a busy month. The ranking is not really important now. Union is an efficient team that uses its system well.”

©  Dick Demey

“We’ll work it out with Frey”

After the victory against Genk, an angry Michael Frey said on his way to the team bus that it was his last game for Antwerp. Last season’s top scorer from Antwerp is tired of his substitute status. “Michael is dissatisfied. That is every football player when he is not playing. Every footballer is full of emotion and that was Michael’s expression. But I don’t think it was his last match for the club. When you have two strikers like ours, you don’t want them to leave. So I don’t want him to leave. Moreover, he still has a contract here (until mid-2024, ed.). We’ll figure it out together. We will solve it in a good way,” said Van Bommel, who also confirmed that he had already spoken to Frey.

Frey is thus eligible to play. Long-term injured Miyoshi, Engels and Vines are not available and Union is also too early for Haroun – who is already training with the group. “Furthermore, Yusuf is out and Gerkens, Valencia, Scott and Ekkelenkamp have doubts.”

©  Getty Images

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