KAS Eupen is already playing its third home game on the fourth match day of the Jupiler Pro League. The team trained by head coach Jordi Condom will play KV Oostende on Saturday evening. The match at the Kehrweg Stadium kicks off at 20:00 and newcomer Mbaye Leye is in the KAS Eupen squad for the first time.
Jordi Condom was unwilling to reveal at the press conference for the 4th match day whether or not Eupen’s new number 9 would be in the starting eleven. In fact, however, the new striker has made the 18-man squad, and Jordi Condom has been heaping praise on the 34-year-old Senegalese. “Mbaye Leye has integrated perfectly with us from day one,” the coach said. “He has gradually bonded with his team-mates and is now a full member of our team. His experience and charisma make him one of our leaders and someone who will also inspire his fellow players and make them stronger.” It is hard to imagine that KAS Eupen’s Spanish coach will not use such a trump card.
Not only chances, but goals now too
After three defeats in a row, Jordi Condom still feels no pressure. “We had a very bad start with the 5-0 defeat by Zulte Waregem, but we were able to improve significantly in Bruges and especially at home against Kortrijk. The many chances we created against Kortrijk show that we are on the right path. As of now, we still have no goals and no points, but we must not dwell on that. A point against Ostende would be good for our morale, but we want to take three points.”
“KV Ostende also has no points, but is a good team”
KV Ostende also has something to say when it comes to allocating the points, as Jordi Condom knows only too well: “Just like Ostende, we had a poor start to the championship. Nevertheless, I have a lot of respect for this team. Every position is filled with two players of virtually equal ability. Let’s not forget, Ostende is and shall remain a team that made it into the top six last season, and so it even qualified for the Europa League this season.”
Mickaël Tirpan: “KAS Eupen was a good choice for me”
As a player in KAS Eupen’s professional squad, Mickaël Tirpan fielded questions from the media before the game against KV Ostende. The defender and midfielder, who transferred to KAS Eupen from Excelsior Mouscron, has been deployed as a central defender at KAS Eupen and is growing into the position that was previously unfamiliar to him. “It’s a massive change when you switch from a position in the midfield or on the flanks to a position in the middle of the defence. That’s because you have to give 100% concentration at all times and basically not make any mistakes at all. But I’m improving with each game. I know I still have a lot to learn though.”
Mickaël Tirpan still has no regrets about his decision to join KAS Eupen. On the contrary: “Now that I have been here for a few weeks, I can say that I definitely made the right choice. KAS Eupen is a very professional club where everyone plays for the team, so we play football under optimal conditions and have a fantastic team spirit. “I am delighted to be playing for this club and in this team.”
Mickaël Tirpan expects a tough match on Saturday evening, but is looking forward to the game against Ostende with some optimism: “We are playing at home, so we have an opportunity to control the game. There’s nothing to fear. We’re improving week to week. Now we just have to play more efficiently than last time against Bruges and Kortrijk, then the first success will surely come.”