On Sunday, the Bosuil Stadium will undoubtedly be swirling again as it did in the glory days of the Great Old. AA Gent coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck is very much looking forward to the clash between title competitors Antwerp and Union: “However, it would be fantastic for everyone if the title fight is not decided until next week.”
“Antwerp or Union? Don’t know. No one, perhaps”, Hein Vanhaezebrouck remains cautious. The Ghent coach therefore does not venture to make any predictions, even though he acknowledges that the Great Old has an appointment with history on Sunday afternoon: “It is indeed an ultimate opportunity for Antwerp. If they don’t do it on Sunday, it will probably be difficult for them.”
Nevertheless, according to Vanhaezebrouck, Antwerp should not win at all costs: “With a draw, they remain in the lead, but then they have to go to Genk, who then get an extra push to still participate for the title. I personally see in Union the team with the toughest course and that would perhaps make them the most deserving. On the other hand, with Antwerp, after all these years, we can once again have a team that takes the double.”
“Do not forget, however, that Union could have been champion last year, but they missed that crucial penalty”, Vanhaezebrouck briefly discusses last season’s exciting title fight. “Union and Antwerp are probably the two teams that earn the most, but you can’t forget Genk, which has been in the lead for a long time. However, Union was also active in Europe for a long time. However, it would be fantastic for everyone if the title fight is not decided until next week. I am neutral so it can remain exciting for a while.”
Meanwhile, the Buffalos are counting down the days to vacation. On the other hand, Hein Vanhaezebrouck demands and expects utmost concentration and motivation for the two remaining matches in the Europe play-offs. However, HVH cannot call on extra fit players for Saturday afternoon’s game at Westerlo.
“The situation remains more or less the same”, Vanhaezebrouck summed it up nicely. “We were actually planning to take in some extra youngsters, but they finished the cup final on Wednesday and also won. Because of those efforts, they felt a bit of a burden afterwards and they are now also struggling with injuries. As a result, I can only add Bram Lagae.”
However, Lagae played 90 minutes during the cup final last Wednesday and will probably start on the bench: “It’s too early for Bram to start because he played a full match on Wednesday. It was quite warm and many boys also suffered from cramps. Then you have to be careful not to force it now. Next week might be a better time to give some of them minutes.”
“The guys who are fit now will probably continue to play”, Hein Vanhaezebrouck gave an exceptional look at his plans. “We will look forward to next week. We don’t want to let those last two games just pass, although we really have nothing left to win. However, they remain professionals and as a coach you should not motivate them. They know what they are playing for, they should also be winners.”