Home » The difference between paper and grass: underdog Genk wants to bite instead of bark

The difference between paper and grass: underdog Genk wants to bite instead of bark

by admin

© EPA-EFE

Actions rather than words. This is the motto of coach Wouter Vrancken in Florence. RC Genk faces a tough assignment, because a defeat at Fiorentina could open the door wide for a European exit. But the underdog is stimulated: he wants to bite instead of bark on Thursday evening.

Marnik Geukens in Florence

Today at 6:21 PM

A walk through the Stadio Artemio Franchi is pure porn for nostalgics. Almost a hundred years old, each room still exudes tradition and grandeur. And unlike Union’s Joseph Marien Stadium, for example, the local painter makes his rounds here every year. Especially in the purple press room, where coach Wouter Vrancken and Bilal El Khannouss enter at half past five. The contrast with the scene three hours earlier is dazzling, Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Italiano and player Maxime Lopez were allowed to address the press in the Viola Park, the brand new training center on the outskirts of the city that was recently opened.

Hopeful de Condé

The topic of conversation is obvious. Not only coach Wouter Vrancken was dissatisfied with the mentality of (too) many players at Sclessin on Saturday. He lacked grinta and initiative, something Head of Football Dimitri de Condé could only have confirmed on Wednesday morning. “But we have had a lot of conversations in recent days and I feel better about it,” said Condé. “You can also get energy from a bad match. Now it is important to take that feeling to the field. We have been hoping for a reference match for some time, the team has to rise above itself for once. The players realize that too.”

See also  Moggi cannot be on the sidelines

Goldcrest Bilal El Khannouss could confirm that. “It has been a bit less in recent weeks, it is up to us to get back up. Taking revenge for Saturday is difficult, this is a different competition. But we realize that we will have to show intensity from the first minute.”

Gebalde El Khannouss

The Genk playmaker kept his answers more concise than usual. As if he wanted to save his energy for Wednesday’s top bill. “I look forward. The bar is higher in Europe, the matches in the Conference League are more intense than in the Belgian competition. I also want to boost my stats. So far I have only provided an assist at home against Fiorentina. There is more to it, I firmly believe in our chances. Fiorentina is a very strong opponent who can make it difficult for any team with its pressing. At the same time, this creates spaces that we rarely get in Belgium. We showed in the first match that we can compete with the Italians.”

Clear Vrancken

The performance at home against Fiorentina also gives the Genk coach confidence in a new, positive bend in the performance curve. Although Wouter Vrancken’s slogan on Wednesday evening was ‘actions, not words’. “We have not only had collective conversations in recent days. The matters are also clearly stated individually,” said the coach. “As always, I found enough self-criticism and motivation among the players. But we also have to show that on the field on Thursday. We have to keep pushing in the matches and dare to impose ourselves.”

See also  “This is just sad for Belgian football”: Brian Riemer and Jesper Fredberg about the affair surrounding whether or not to replay Anderlecht-Genk

That seems easier said than done on the field of an Italian top team, which pushed Milan back at home on Saturday. “But it is possible, we have proven that at home,” Vrancken insisted. “We remained true to our DNA and provided a very nice game of football. It was a lot of fun to be competitive against such a strong team. Hopefully we will succeed again here and we will achieve a result that gives us a concrete prospect of spending the winter in Europe.”

“We always play to win, so that doesn’t change our attitude,” Vrancken concluded. “Although you are always dependent on the story of the match, sometimes you have to realize that a draw is the highest possible outcome. We know that we start this crucial match as underdogs. On paper, Fiorentina is and remains the clear favorite to win the group. But matches are not played on paper. The great thing about football is that anything is possible between the white lines.”

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy