Hein Vanhaezebrouck praises Tarik Tissoudali's attitude: "He was already planning his rehabilitation this week"

“In the first place it is a hard blow to the player”, Hein Vanhaezebrouck returned briefly to the heavy verdict that Tarik Tissoudali was told earlier this week. The Ghent crowd favorite went wrong this morning, but it turned out to have turned the knob right away: “He has taken this news positively, despite all the setbacks that come with it.”

Even more. The Moroccan international, who also sees the World Cup pass by, is already planning: “The operation went through this morning. It took a while, but in his head he was already working on his rehabilitation. This is also part of football. A career extends from the age of 16 until you are about 35 years old. That is long. Then you have to learn to deal with small and big problems. It is important that you take on those challenges with positive input.”

Mentally, in any case, Tissoudali was fine, the Ghent coach was also able to determine personally: “He even told me that the World Cup period in November and December is ideal for him. That is more than a month that he does not miss any competition matches during his rehabilitation. You can’t be more positive if you know that he misses the World Cup. That shows who Tarik is. cheers. A lot is said about him, there were many stories going around. But he really realizes where he comes from, where he stands and where he wants to go.”

ALSO READ. Drama for Tarik Tissoudali: six months out and no World Cup

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Still, Tissoudali’s injury causes extra headaches for Vanhaezebrouck: “As a club, coach and team we always have to adapt to the circumstances. If it had only been Tarik, it wouldn’t have been too bad. But there are more than Tarik alone. That makes it harder to catch.”

As a result, AA Gent urgently needs to look for the necessary reinforcements: “Tarik is not just someone for whom you can bring a few guys. It is a rare type for AA Gent, throughout history the club has had such a person now and then: for example Simon and Kubo. Now we had Tissoudali as a player who finishes in second place, for example in the election of the Professional Footballer of the Year.”

“Casper Nielsen? It dragged on too long”

“Tarik is definitely someone with qualities and it will be a big task to replace him. Certainly not if you are bound by financial restrictions, then that is doubly difficult. Everyone is looking for such players. We are still looking for something offensive because we are a bit too sharp there. We also count on our young guests: Fofana and Salah are doing very well in training. As long as we don’t find someone extra, they will certainly make more minutes.”

As a result, the Buffalos continue to look for reinforcements and an extra midfielder also remains on Vanhaezebrouck’s wish list. Especially because the Ghent attempt to release Casper Nielsen from Union ultimately failed. “I won’t say anything about that. It is known that we made an effort and we could have done it if we had done what we had to do very quickly but it dragged on a little too long.”


This means that, in contrast to other years, Vanhaezebrouck has anything but too many players for compiling the so-called ‘European list’: “When I submitted the European list last year, I had to put three guys in the stands: Mboyo and the injured duo Malede-Hjulsager. They couldn’t get up anyway because we could only line up 22 guys. However, now I only come up with 17 names, that is a big difference.”

“The result of a conscious choice, however. We are not financially able to bring in many guys and then you choose to try to bring in a little more quality. Cuypers as an extra attacker, Torunarigha as an additional trump with defensive qualities. The risk is that with all those dropouts, you have a limited core. However, at the start of the preparation, most of the boys started fit. Some fell out quickly. Otherwise we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. However, it has been a choice to lean a little closer to the top in this way. Otherwise you get a little more boys, but of lesser quality. And then you might just not make it to the top four. But if we have to do it this way for a whole season, it will also be difficult.”

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