All NewsINTERVIEW OF THE WEEK: MAKHTAR GUEYE

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK: MAKHTAR GUEYE

Makhtar Gueye (23) is having an excellent season. With six goals he is currently top marksman for the Coastboys. "My goal is to score at least 15 goals."

What did you think of the match against Anderlecht?

We played a good first half. After that it was less. I'm happy with my two goals, although I could have scored a third as well. Then we might have won. Well, what's done is done. Hopefully we can take the three points home against Sint-Truiden.

Is there actually a big difference between the French league and the Belgian league?

Here in Belgium, the focus is mainly on physical football. In France it's more about possession and technique. But the physical football in our league suits me. I like to fight with the defenders. Which defender stuck out the most to me? Oh, no one in particular. I focus on my own game.

Enough about defenders. Who do you think are the three best attackers in our league?

Paul Onuachu, he's really a complete striker. And he scores a lot. That's always important for a striker. Frey of Antwerp is also having a good season. Finally, I choose Zirkzee of Anderlecht. He played an excellent game against us.

You're not choosing for yourself?

Should I be top marksman in the league, I can pick myself. Now I have to keep working hard and make progress. I'm certainly not at the top of my game yet. In the future I want to make the step to a bigger league but first I have to improve myself here.

You are now in your second season in Ostend. How do you look back on that period so far?

Honestly? Before I arrived here, I did not know Ostend. But now it's become like a second family. We are a good team, known for our pressing. We also have a lot of young players with a lot of potential. OK, we don't have much experience, but we compensate that with youthful enthusiasm and our aggressive and physical style of play.

You started the season well : six goals in nine games.

I certainly can't complain. My first goal against Anderlecht was a nice one, the second I was in the right place. As a striker you have to be able to score in different ways. I've done that already this season. But I don't want to rest on my laurels now. I'm aiming for 15 goals this season. But football remains a collective sport, so I can't focus only on goals.

You also often score with your head. As a kid you were even named after a head specialist.

You mean the German Oliver Bierhoff? Yes, that's right. Because from a young age I was big and strong and often scored with the head. I never saw Bierhoff play myself, but I looked up videos of him on YouTube. He seemed a slightly different type than myself. He was more the striker who lived off crosses, I prefer to make the move myself. But I immediately sign for a career like his (ed. Bierhoff was champion with AC Milan and was European Champion with Germany).

Who are your examples as a striker?

Lewandowski, Lukaku and Benzema. I often watch videos of them as well. I pay attention to specific movements and try to learn from them. Lukaku is a real beast on the pitch.

You can be quite explosive sometimes. Last season you had an altercation with trainer Alexander Blessin and you had an argument with Fashion Sakala about taking a penalty.

Well, these things happen in the heat of the moment. Fashion was looking to score, I was looking to score. We're both strikers. But I was the regular penalty taker and I kick them well, right? Of the incident with the trainer nothing has been left behind. He is a winner and I am a winner. Then that can clash sometimes. But he is a good trainer. He makes the players better. The trainings are intensive and that translates to the field as well. Off the field, I'm a quiet person. I laugh often and try to see the positive side in everything.

You're very religious. Does that help you in your daily life?
Absolutely. I am a practicing Muslim and try to pray up to five times a day. My faith is the most important thing in my life. It makes me a better person. Praying makes me feel at peace.

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