Essevee coach Mbaye Leye doesn’t think his team has a chance against Anderlecht either: “Take this game like a derby too!”

“Our second win of the season is a fact, it was also very well deserved. Especially if you look at our second half”, Leye briefly looks back on Essevee’s victory on a visit to Kortrijk. “We went all out for it. Still Lamkel Zé and Selemani hurt us before the break – the way we had to tackle them could have been even better – but we still created three more chances before the break.”

Nevertheless, relief prevails in the ranks at Essevee at the moment: “Of course it has been a long time since we won again. It was therefore important for our people, but also to close the gap with the competition”, says Leye, who approaches Thursday evening’s game as a new chance to gain points: “Now we have to bring the same against Anderlecht and now also tackle that match as a derby.”

“Anderlecht is a wounded animal”

“There are always surprises in the Belgian league. The predicted fallers often make it. We also have the capabilities to secure retention,” said Leye, who has already warned his group of players for the next opponent. “Anderlecht is a wounded animal, I also said that during our briefing. It went wrong for us against Leuven and luckily we were able to recover in Kortrijk. Anderlecht will also want to try that against us.”

The value judgment of Leye about Anderlecht is therefore very clear: “Of course they have more qualities than us. Especially in the one-on-one actions. You also saw it against Bruges: with a good keeper, Blue and Black always lose, but they simply have a top keeper in their goal. Without Mignolet, Anderlecht always win”, says Leye who has already prepared his tactical plan.

“First of all, we have to defend well and must not repeat our mistakes of the past few weeks. It is therefore important to avoid losing the ball and always keep our man strictly. In addition, we should definitely try to finish with eleven so that we can keep our structure. We will certainly have situations, I am convinced of that.”

Leye also undoubtedly counts on the standard situations that proved so important for Essevee last weekend: “Two days before the match we always train on stationary phases: with a boy like Rommens we have an incredible weapon: he has a fantastic stair technique. You have to take advantage of that. Certainly also with strong guys like Offor and Derijck in your core.”

“I haven’t lost Sammy”

On the previous match day, Mbaye Leye also opted for a new goalkeeper. A well-considered decision that he did not pass on lightly to his group of players: “Sammy is a good friend of mine. For me it is important to be honest with him in my communication. He is a leader in this group. In such situations, you have to maintain open communication. We had already talked about it several times during the week. He understood that we had to change things last in the standings and then you also look at the goalkeeper.”

“Sammy is very direct, a bit like me. He thinks respect is important. If he doesn’t feel respected, you see another side of his personality. I wouldn’t call that negative, just normal. With his number of matches in first division, that is completely normal. I certainly haven’t lost him either, he’s my first captain. Afterwards we also have guys like Jelle (Vossen, ed.) in Thymus (Derijck, red.). People should not forget what Sammy has already done for Zulte Waregem, which is why he will certainly be in action in the Belgian Cup!”

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