Mazzù and Vertonghen: “We are working towards a turning point”

Jan Vertonghen

The coach addressed the press alongside Jan Vertonghen before the game against West Ham.

On Thursday, the game against West Ham United FC makes for a fine European fixture. Before kick-off, a sold-out Lotto Park will pay tribute to the players who won the 1976 European Cup II against West Ham. The Belgian world champion and winner of La Vuelta Remco Evenepoel will be honoured as well.

For the match against West Ham, Marco Kana, Adrien Trebel and Nilson Angulo are unavailable. After the defeat against Charleroi, coach Felice Mazzù looks ahead to this European fixture as an opportunity to show a reaction and grow in confidence.

"Sunday's result was obviously disappointing. But I also indicated immediately after the game that our intensity levels are getting better, that we created a lot of chances and that we also have to take the positives from that game. My players remain positive and we are working together towards that particular turning point, towards a specific moment that can liberate us to win our games. I see tomorrow's game mainly in that context: it's a chance to grab hold of a positive flow and keep improving. The Conference League is a different competition. We are certainly not in a bad position with 4 points from the first two games. Of course, West Ham is a very strong opponent with a lot of resources and a great history. But that doesn't take away the fact that we want to show ourselves."

Jan Vertonghen, who obviously has a lot of experience in the Premier League, holds tomorrow's opponent in high regard. "I see West Ham as a sleeping giant: it's a team with a lot of resources and a big fan base. They have the potential to attack the top six in England. So tomorrow’s game is just a very interesting fixture. The external expectations about our chances might be more moderate than in the domestic league, but that doesn’t make a difference for us, the players. We really do want to show something."

Jan Vertonghen also insisted on the cohesion in the group after some negative results in the league. "Of course, I always want to win our games. But despite the results, I do see a lot of positives in our performances. I simply believe that we have a very good group. Of course there are a lot of young players, but they are so talented and they have the right mentality. It is up to the older players like myself and the staff to provide them with the necessary guidance. I needed that guidance too at that age."

"I am obviously frustrated when we don't win, but I would be even more frustrated if I would have felt that there is a lack of connection in the group. That’s clearly not the case, and that’s what keeps me and the whole group positive as well. I am convinced that with the combination of this group of players and this staff, we can achieve good things."

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1. Francis Amuzu
2. Kristian Arnstad
3. Majeed Ashimeru
4. Colin Coosemans
5. Zeno Debast
6. Hannes Delcroix
7. Amadou Diawara
8. Julien Duranville
9. Sebastiano Esposito
10. Fábio Silva
11. Wesley Hoedt
12. Amir Murillo
13. Moussa N'Diaye
14. Benito Raman
15. Lior Refaelov
16. Noah Sadiki 
17. Killian Sardella
18. Lucas Stassin
19. Mario Stroeykens
20. Hendrik Van Crombrugge
21. Bart Verbruggen
22. Yari Verschaeren
23. Jan Vertonghen

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