Global3 finals in 9 days, it’s the moment of truth for the...

3 finals in 9 days, it’s the moment of truth for the Union: “I have the impression that we have found our DNA”

All the jokers have been burned

That’s the ideal scenario, obviously. The one that all Saint-Gilles supporters dream of, even if the missed first part of the playoffs for their favorites should encourage them to be cautious. “This match against Anderlecht will already be a final before the final”, said Kevin Mac Allister in the long interview he gave us. Alexander Blessin logically remains cautious: “Will this week be decisive for the title? I do not think so. Even if we win the next two championship matches it will not be over with two more matches to go. Now, it’s certain that if we lose against Anderlecht and Bruges, on the other hand…” Since all the jokers were burned during the first four days, the last hopes of the title would be gone with two new defeats. A four out of six, or even more, seems essential. The German T1 does not deny the importance of the coming week: “I agree, these are the ten most important days of the season. It’s normal since we’re getting closer to the end…”

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We must feel the positive pressure, not the negative.

Blessin saw his team struggle with pressure at the start of the playoffs, and is therefore playing the positive card, so as not to let the demons resurface: “There’s always a bit of pressure of course, but we’ve worked to get there. Having the opportunity to win a title, for a professional player or a coach, is the best thing that can happen. We must savor, feel this positive pressure and not the negative which makes you deviate from your trajectory.”

“Match by match”: change of strategy, at the Union, where we no longer talk openly about the title

The good state of mind seems to be back, with the former leader, with his convincing six out of six against Antwerp. “Are the heads lighter? It’s still the playoffs, eh. We tried to stay calm after the four defeats and also after these two victories. But that said, we saw more smiles and energy this week in every training exercise, that’s for sure, and that helps us.

We regained the sense of collective that the Union had lost a little at the start of the playoffs.

Collective and trust

Like the fact of having found at times against the Great Old, the collective football practiced by the former leader. Seeing the Union score the 1-1 goal after an action made of eleven passes, in which eight players participated, last Sunday, reassured his coach. “We had just given the opponent a stupid goal (Editor’s note: on an ill-adjusted header from Sadiki), but I did not find us in difficulty. The confidence was there and the ball continued to circulate, like on this goal. In our last two matches, I had the feeling that our DNA was back. The best example was the way Ross celebrated a defensive action at Antwerp. This is what we need. Everyone should feel like we are strong only when we are a collective. We reviewed these situations which made us strong in the classic phase: players who do not hide, but ask for the ball, and who are also strong in losing the ball.” Ingredients that actually seem to have come back a week ago. Is it a mirage due to the weakness of Antwerp or a return to normal, for a team which had just been lost for three weeks? We will have the answer within ten days.

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