Nicolas Raskin still believes in the Top 4: “No player wants to be part of Standard’s worst team …”
Nicolas Raskin, this final against Genk, are you already thinking about it?
It is automatically in the back of our minds and will be until D-Day. But these last four league matches will also be finals. By being the Standard, we have to win to get out of the place where we are today. This will be important to create good momentum and to get to the final with a lot of confidence.
The road to Europe is still longer on one side than on the other …
But if we only focus on the final and it doesn’t turn out as we would have hoped, we will ultimately have a lot of regrets. A club like Standard cannot afford to bet everything on the Cup and too bad for the championship. Today I think we are not where we should be.
So for you, winning the final and going on vacation at the end of April is not an ideal scenario?
No really not. For players who don’t like football, yes, but not for us.
Do you still believe in Playoffs 1?
I’m ambitious and I think the whole group is too. We’re not going to lie to each other, it’s clear that looking at our calendar and that of others, it will be very complicated for us. But as long as it is mathematically possible, you always have to believe in it. With Standard, there have often been twists and turns.
What will it be necessary to do in addition against this team of Genk, a big piece of the championship?
I think we have been lacking in goal efficiency lately. In Mouscron, in Eupen… We had the opportunities. There will be less against Genk, a priori, so we will have to be good against goal. It will also be necessary to be rigorous on the tactical level, there are players opposite who are very strong from a technical point of view. If we leave them too much space, we risk having problems.
Genk’s players have already said they want to send a message ahead of the Cup final. Is this match a rehearsal before the final?
League and Cup matches are very different. The atmosphere is not the same, it is not comparable. This Friday night’s game is very important, we are really focused on the championship now.
Is it easy to “switch” right after qualifying for the Cup?
It’s easier to do when you win! Especially since this success gave us a lot of confidence, even if the group did not particularly need it despite the difficult series. This is what allowed us to perform in the Belgian Cup.
The risk of finishing lower than tenth place, which would be a sad league record, has Mbaye Leye already mentioned with you?
Yes, and clearly, no player wants to be part of Standard’s “worst” team, in terms of the standings. Despite everything, we can say what we want, but this season has been very different from the others. There are a huge number of teams that stick together at a few points. Not having our supporters with us also deprived us of a lot of points. ”