"It’s a clear mission: we want to win and proceed"

Jan Vertonghen

Thursday, a nearly sold-out Lotto Park will host Bulgarian side Ludogorets for the second leg of the play-off rounds in the UEFA Europa Conference League. If RSCA manages to  overturn a 1-0 defeat in the first leg, our team will proceed to the round of 16 in the Conference League. Coach Brian Riemer & defender Jan Vertonghen took a seat in the press room ahead of the game against Ludogorets.

Brian Riemer:

“Luckily, coming back from a 0-1 defeat is not as difficult as it was a year ago, with the change of rules regarding away goals. For me, the score in the first leg doesn’t change much. We want to proceed in this tournament and to do that, we have to win. I don’t think the game will be decided after the first half, we’ll need at least the full 95 minutes. That’s why we need to come up with a controlled and offensive plan, not a kamikaze-approach. We have to build on our general performance in Ludogorets. I was pleased with what I saw in the last 80 minutes. I think if we would replay that game 10 times, I’m sure we would win it a lot more than we would lose it. But having said that, we also know that the game tomorrow will be completely different in many ways. I think we have shown stability and a good development in the team for a while now. It’s about continuing down that road and about showing the self-confidence we also show in the league, and that way we’ll hopefully get the goals that will bring us to the next round.”

Jan Vertonghen:

“Of course, I’m still excited to be playing these European games. I’m still very ambitious and European games are always special. I just want to win this game and go through to the round of 16. I have settled really well now in this club and I’m happy with the group and the positive approach of the coach. Obviously, a lot has happened on and off the pitch this season, but I feel that we’ve been progressing since the World Cup break. The club and the coach have managed to form a group that have a desire to play for this club and believe in this project. I think both me personally and the team are showing progress. About the game tomorrow, one thing is for sure: we have to score and win in order to proceed. That’s a clear mission for us. At the same time, and we’ve learned that from last Sunday in the league, we have to make sure that we defend well, even with a lot of attacking-minded players on the pitch.”

Read more