After 119 days of sitting on the bench, Guillaume Hubert must save KV Oostende from relegation: “Nine more matches to rectify our situation”

Guillaume Hubert was again between the posts against Essevee. Unfortunately, that comeback did not yield a three-pointer. — © BELGIUM

119 days: it was that long ago that Guillaume Hubert was again between the posts at KV Oostende. And suddenly he was there, against Zulte Waregem. It is the second time in as many seasons that the goalie loses his starting place to a newcomer. “Talk to the coach? It doesn’t really matter to me,” he says.

Junior Verbeeke

Last season he had to make way for Kjell Scherpen after the winter break, now Dillon Phillips was the culprit. And that despite the fact that Hubert was actually strong twice. But Scherpen and Phillips were transfers and so had to get a chance at some point. “It’s not obvious,” says Hubert. “After that 1-6 against Union I was beaten by Yves (Vanderhaeghe, ed.) taken out of the goal, while I was still having a good season. Did I get an explanation? Yes, but I didn’t fully agree with that. Anyway: I have always respected the decision. I am not a person who then demands a conversation with the coach. That’s not much for you anyway. Since I lost my starting place, I have always kept working hard. Do your best in training and be there when the coach needs you: that’s all you can do.” And it paid off: after 119 days, Thalhammer picked him up from under the dust. “We could use his length, because Zulte Waregem drops a lot of balls in the box,” the Austrian explained after the match against Essevee.

Hubert’s comeback gave KV Oostende a point, but that was not good news. “Actually, this was another six-point match that we had to win”, Hubert sighs. “One point is not enough. We heard afterwards that KV Kortrijk won against Standard, and then you have done a very bad thing. But according to the native of Liège, the die has not yet been cast. “Everything is still possible. With Cercle Brugge, ten match days before the end, we once made up a nine-point deficit and thus avoided relegation. You will not hear me say that turning six points behind is easy. But if we don’t believe in it, we can stay home. It can turn so fast in football. Don’t forget that we still play in Eupen, among others.”

Losing out of the question

But first Charleroi this Saturday, his former team. A new loss is absolutely out of the question to keep the water chance of conservation intact. Hubert is already ready to put his money in the bag. “Of course I have a good feeling now that I’m back between the posts,” he nods. “I have known difficult months. Two days before the match in Waregem, the coach told me that I would play. The result of my efforts in training, I think.” To the goalie and his teammates to finally let the Diaz Arena celebrate again. “The atmosphere in the group is still good. We often have good conversations to get everyone on board. Only when we pull together can we be successful. We still have nine games to rectify our situation.”

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