In its struggle to avoid relegation from the Jupiler Pro League, KAS Eupen has a home game against Sint-Truiden VV at 20:00 on Saturday night. After two draws against Club Brügge (Bruges) and KRC Genk, the team is now aiming to record its first win under coach Claude Makelele. While KAS Eupen sits at the bottom of the table on 12 points, STVV has so far accumulated 27 points and is ranked sixth. The away game in Sint-Truiden ended in a 4-4 draw.
Jordan Lotiés: “A victory as a reward for all our hard work”
“We were close to achieving our first win of the season and now we want to score three more points,” said KAS Eupen’s French centre-back Jordan Lotiès at the pre-match press conference, adding: “We have been working very hard over the last few weeks and would like a reward for all our efforts – we deserve it. I feel that we have learned from our mistakes and hope that they will not be repeated now,” he said.
Coach Claude Makelele has again commanded his team to start off with a solid defence that concedes no goals and then to score its own goals. “Even though STVV has enjoyed less success away than at home, we are facing a daunting task because we are dealing with an opponent that is very strong physically and which seems to be very solid and difficult to take apart,” the coach told the journalists.
Akram Afif, Moussa Wague and Mickaël Tirpan are out, while Nicolas Verdier is fit
On Saturday night, Claude Makelele must cope without some of his regular players. Mickaël Tirpan is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card, Moussa Wague is expected to miss out until the end of the year due to injury and Akram Afif is preparing for the Gulf Cup 2017 with Qatar’s national team. Nicolas Verdier has recovered from his injury and returns to the squad.
Claude Makelele: “Satisfied with the attitude shown by my players”
Even though he cannot put out his strongest team, Claude Makelele is looking ahead to Saturday night’s game with a degree of confidence: “Since I became coach at KAS Eupen, the attitude shown by the players has improved noticeably. We have worked hard and shown a lot of dedication. We have had some fun too, and we have already been able to correct some mistakes. That should boost self-confidence and clear the head.” Jordan Lotiès also commented positively on the atmosphere within the team. “The team spirit is intact, everyone is on the same page and working hard for the team, and the dressing room is a happy place too.”
Success on Saturday night would certainly provide a considerable boost to the mood among the players and fans of KAS Eupen. Allez Eupen!