The Playoffs are here, and it promises to be the most exciting final battle ever. On the opening day, our side will host Club Brugge. It will be a lively time in the Cegeka Arena on Sunday. Wouter Vrancken and his team are looking forward to the opener of the Champions' Playoffs against Club Brugge with a positive feeling. “We have had an exceptional season. Seven matches before the end of the regular season we achieved our initial goal, a place in the playoffs. We then also achieved the second objective, to finish first in the regular season. Now there is only one goal left: to win the title. We are going full steam ahead.”
Our coach expertly dismisses the pressure that others would have as gradually mounting: “It goes without saying that we are fully committed to winning the title and that we will be disappointed if we miss out, but we have the least to lose of all the teams that have are in the Champions League Playoffs. Before the season started, everyone agreed that Club Brugge was the biggest favourite for the title in terms of their squad and budget. With the budget that Antwerp has available, it was supposed to be a two-way battle. And since Union have been playing in the top flight, they have been a good, stable team. I am very satisfied and proud that we can compete against three really good teams. And the belief is present throughout the club that we can make it happen. We feel free to take our chances. Our club has a clear DNA of a beautiful and well-worked style of football. We're not going to step away from that now that Playoffs are approaching. We want to score goals. Waiting for the opponent to make a mistake and not making one in yourself, that is not how we got here.”
The first hurdle that Vrancken's troops have to overcome is Club Brugge, the team that perhaps starts the final battle with the best form. “Rik De Mil has created something there in just a few weeks. They will also look take that confidence to Genk. We will have to be ready for six finals, starting this Sunday.”
Vrancken was joined by 'Joske' Paintsil at the press conference. Vrancken spoke highly of his lightning-fast winger when he received questions about his exceptional season: “Joske owes everything to himself. Like many players, he has all the confidence he needs here. You can see that he feels good in the team and in the club and then his quality shows itself naturally.”
One team, one family
The last word at the press conference was from Paintsil himself: “It's nice to have good statistics, but they are secondary to the team's objectives. I'd rather not score if we get three points. Mentally and physically, we are ready,” he said confidently. “We are fighting as one team, as one family. The objective is clear: We want to finish top of the league. We believe in it,” Joske concluded.
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