Steven Defour had a group discussion with his players after an anticlimax in Eupen: “That defeat still reverberates”


KV Mechelen – KRC Genk is the opener of the 26th matchday in the Jupiler Pro League on Friday evening. After the painful loss in extremis am Kehrweg, the Kakkers have to put something right against their ex-coach Wouter Vrancken. “My players took the bull by the horns in a group discussion”, current T1 Steven Defour looked ahead.

Diederik Geypen

Until minute 85 there was no problem in Eupen last week, but in five minutes, in which KV completely lost the north, it completely lost a 0-1 lead. Defour did not spare the criticism of his men afterwards. “A week later, that defeat still reverberates”, the Mechelen coach admitted on Thursday afternoon at his weekly press conference. “I was decent pissed off, Yes. That equalizer was a blow, but with five minutes left on the clock we should have at least held on to that point. Even that didn’t work…”

From black to white

The childish approach, which many of his players already referred to after the game, has been discussed in recent days. “There was a group discussion,” Defour emphasized. “Both away from home, but also at home, we fail to control a match for ninety minutes. The 2-2 draw against Charleroi the week before was almost as bad. When Robert (Schoofs, red.) went red, we were 2-0 ahead and there was also nothing wrong until the sixtieth minute. The boys responded positively to the group discussion. They have taken the bull by the horns and told it like it is. Although I also know that it cannot go from black to white in one week.”

With Dries Wouters and Iebe Swers, Defour welcomed two old acquaintances to training. “Their reference to the B-squad was not necessary for me, although the club, with a view to a sale, thought it was better that those guys no longer trained. That sale did not happen, so they asked me if they were welcome again. According to the feedback I received, they have always trained well with the reserves. They are therefore in the selection against Genk. A Return of Samuel Oum Gouet (who regularly missed training at the B-squad, ed.) was undiscussable. He will have to show his disappointment in a different way”, dixit Defour.

READ MORE.Dries Wouters and Iebe Swers return to first team, Gustav Engvall no longer fits in the plans at KV Mechelen

Best away match in Genk

In the first leg, Malinwa proved to be a tough customer for the league leader. “We then played our best away game of the season, because Genk plays football and lets play football”, said Defour. “We made good use of the spaces that were there. Only we were beaten twice on the same phase and we didn’t play out the man-more situation well in the end.” Yonas Malede and Julien Ngoy formed an excellent tandem in the Cegeka Arena. “An interaction that we may see again tomorrow” Defour kept the option open. “It is clear that we have to puzzle through the many absences.”

Bijker (calf), Walsh (pelvis), Vanlerberghe (hamstrings) and Bolingoli (abs) are out. Verstraete and Schoofs are serving a suspension.

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