INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK: KENNY ROCHA
Kenny Rocha Santos (21) came over from AS Nancy in the French Ligue 2 last summer and has a contract until 2025. Our number 10 has meanwhile won a permanent place in the starting line-up. "I want to provide the necessary creativity. He also collected six caps for the national team of Cape Verde.
How did you experience your first months in Ostend?
Very good, Ostend is a pleasant city to stay in. I live here with my girlfriend and daughter. My family also visit regularly. My mother lives in Paris, so it's not that far.
Our club is known for physical football combined with pressing. Was it an adjustment for you?
When I arrived here, I knew what this club stands for. Moreover, we played similar football in Nancy. It's important to be physically fit. The training sessions are tough, but that's necessary. That's why we can keep up our pressing for 90 minutes.
The season isn't long in coming, but with eight starts and two assists, you can't be too happy, can you?
(laughs) Now to score a goal! No, I also get enough satisfaction by giving an assist. That goal will come naturally. In general I'm happy with my start of the season. Next to helping the team as much as possible, it's my job to create creativity in midfield and to throw in passes. The idle phases are also for me, together with Maxime D'Arpino. Before the game, we sometimes play a game of 'leaves, stones, scissors' to decide who will take a free kick (laughs).
Sunday is the match against Anderlecht. Do you believe in the three points?
Sure, with the right mentality we can win the game. Anderlecht is of course a big club with a rich history in Belgium. We'll have to have the right focus throughout the match. We'll also have to take their attackers into account. They combine speed with good technique, I'm thinking of someone like El Hadj.
You already have six caps with Cape Verde. How is your adventure with the national team going?
Well, I am proud that I can represent my country. The last two games were a bit less. We could not win both games and in the last game against Nigeria I made an owngoal. But in two weeks we play against Liberia and it is time for me to recover. But first I have to focus on the next two games against Anderlecht and STVV.