Lennard Hens wants to deal with FCV Dender with black beast SL16: “The arrival of Timmy Simons resulted in a positive effect”

Football Challenger Pro League (Relegation play-offs) SL16 – FCV Dender EH (Sunday at 7:15 PM, live on Eleven)

FCV Dender and Lennard Hens started the Relegation play-offs well with a six out of nine: “Still, we cannot count ourselves rich yet.” — © Johnny De Saedeleer


After home victories against Excelsior Virton and SK Deinze, FCV Dender advanced to third place in the Relegation play-offs. Lennard Hens pulled Dender over the line against Deinze with a famous line. The captain wants to take another step forward in Liège against the youngsters of SL16 on the way to retention.

Wim Redant

Lennard Hens was delighted after the great home win against Deinze. “We are in a good flow. We can now say that the arrival of Timmy Simons has had a positive effect. The new coach left his mark in a positive way. I follow him in the story of the marginal gains, where every little bit can help to get stronger. Having breakfast together at the club with an adapted diet is really a step forward. The coach also sets the bar high in terms of sport and wants to score the best with Dender in these play-offs. We got off to a good start with a six out of nine. However, we cannot count ourselves rich yet. The intended preservation is only determined when we have it mathematically in our pocket.”

Hens signed against Deinze for a gem, but his thoughts are on the Sunday trip to Sclessin. “SL16 is a team that doesn’t suit us”, says Hens. “We already bit the sand against them twice. A difficult job awaits on Sunday as well, but we must continue our momentum. Small changes were made tactically, but they did provide more energy. It is true that we put a lot of pressure on not being able to handle a full game yet. The motivation to succeed in our goal is already 100 percent. I scored the winning goal against Deinze, but the victory was mainly due to a strong collective performance. Xavier Gies parried a penalty kick at a crucial moment. Ridwane M’Barki, on the other hand, is in the shape of his life. M’Barki has all the qualities to succeed at this level. By putting a lot of pressure forward, we get more space and therefore more goals can be kicked.”

It does not look like the Denderleeuwse supporters will travel en masse to Liège on a Sunday evening, but Hens hopes for the support of the supporters. “Don’t underestimate the role of our twelfth man. Dender does not have a large following like Beerschot, SK Beveren or RWDM, but we can count on loyal and enthusiastic fans. They also push us forward on the move. We go for the three-pointer every game. We already did that in Lommel. A win against SL16 and a nine out of twelve would bring us another giant step closer to preservation.”

Impulsive M’Barki

Coach Timmy Simons praised the team last week, but wants to see an extension on the banks of the Maas. “After a mediocre first half, we set up a strong second half,” said the coach. “We have to build on that. M’Barki is an impulsive player, but I asked him to turn that into positive energy. Ridwane did that fantastically, which will make him believe in himself even more.”

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