After a disappointing debut against Club Brugge, our new defender Steven Fortes (29) will be back in the squad tomorrow. After his red card and injury he is more motivated than ever. "I was hoping for a better debut. But I will come back stronger."

How did you experience your first months at Ostend?

"Those went well. I was well received by the players and staff. They give me confidence, which makes me self-confident. At the moment I am still looking for an apartment in the area. For now, I'm staying at a hotel."

It was a debut in a minor way. You got a red card in your first game for KV Oostende. How did that go?

"That was a disappointment anyway. We lost the match. I also got a red card and got injured. I had hoped for a better debut, but it was the reality. I will come back stronger."

You did sustain an injury during that game. What was the problem, exactly?

"During an acceleration I suffered a small tear in my quadriceps. The revalidation went smoothly and in the meantime I played in the friendly against Zulte Waregem. So I'm ready to play again."

You were born in Marseille, but you play for the national team of Cape Verde. Explain yourself.

"I was indeed born in France. But my parents are both from Cape Verde. In 2015, the national team of Cape Verde came to ask if I wanted to play for them. Since then, I was often part of the selection and collected six caps. For me, it is an honor to represent the country of my parents. During the last international break I was, unlike teammate Kenny Rocha, not there due to my injury. Fortunately, my country won both qualification matches for the World Cup in 2022. We are in second place in our group. So there is a chance that we qualify. It would be a dream to play the World Cup in Qatar. Cape Verde has never qualified for a World Cup before. It's a unique opportunity."

You played together with Thierry Ambrose at Lens, describe your band.

"We have a good relationship. He's someone who is always happy and makes people around him happy. I really appreciate him as a person. Besides, our wives also get along well."

What type of defender are you anyway?

"I am a defender who likes to duel. Making a correct tackle on the ball is also important to me. As a defender in a three-man defence I also try to take care of the build-up. In addition, I regularly make metres forward with the ball to get the game going."

Which defenders do you look up to?

"I look up to Thiago Silva because he is so efficient. He is a simple defender who always performs his tasks excellently. Sergio Ramos is also an example. He is so strong in duels and his anticipations are of another level. In addition, he regularly picks up a goal."

Saturday against Cercle Brugge. How do you look ahead to that game?

"Cercle Brugge is working on a lesser season. But that also brings risks with it. They will do everything they can to start again with a clean sheet. It's important not to underestimate them. We need to be focused for the full match and then we can definitely win in front of our own crowd."

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