INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK: VINCENT KOZIELLO
With Vincent Koziello, KV Oostende has acquired a midfielder who has already played 85 matches in the Ligue 1. After 90 minutes against Onhaye and 40 minutes against KV Mechelen, the Frenchman starts to feel better and better. The red card of last weekend was a disappointment.
Vincent, you've been in Ostend for a few months now. How do you like it here?
"I feel good here. I do like the city. I like going for walks on the coast. When I played in France, I also lived close to the coast. So it feels like coming home. Also on the sporting level things are getting better and better. I only arrived at the end of the summer break, so I missed the preparation. Then it takes a while before you feel one hundred percent again."
Is that why you've had to make do with substitutes so far?
"I wasn't physically top yet, so that definitely plays into it. That is the coach's choice and I have to respect it. But now I feel much better, I feel good at the training sessions, the games I played went better than expected. It's a pity I got a red card last game against KV Mechelen, because I was in a good flow. But as soon as I'm available again, I'll take my chances and try to help the team."
We can imagine that that red card hit hard?
"It's always annoying to get a red card. But I felt it was worse that our team was not able to win in front of their own crowd. We have to do better anyway. We must not let our heads drop and collectively do better. Start with a win against OH Leuven on Friday."
How's your physical preparedness now? One hundred percent yet?
"Physically, I have gone through a good evolution. The past three games I always made minutes. 20 minutes against Kortrijk, 90 for the Croky Cup and 40 minutes against KV Mechelen. It was a long time ago that I played a full match. But I have a positive feeling about it.
With what qualities can you be important for the team?
"I always try to distribute the game and if necessary keep a ball up to move the team forward. Pressing and organization are also two aspects I can instill in the team."
Did you ever think five years ago that you would end up in Ostend?
"No one can predict the future, let alone myself. I don't even know what I will eat tonight. But no, of course I didn't expect to be playing football at KV Oostende now. But many players take different paths during their career. But I feel good here. It's a nice team and I feel I'm in the right place."
Is Ostend an important step in your career right now?
"Each phase of my career is important. So is KV Oostende. I feel less pressure here and therefore I play more freely. I am happy here. The relationships with the players and coaches are good. That's also an important factor for me. I need to feel good somewhere."
Did you know our league before you played here?
"I used to watch more of the Premier League or Bundesliga of course but I also have friends who play or have played in the Jupiler Pro League. So every now and then I would watch a game. I am a football fan anyway. I also always keep an eye on the matches of our upcoming opponents."
You played about 85 games in the French league, what is the biggest difference with the Belgian league?
"In Ligue 1, it was more often one team having the ball possession and the opponent playing wait-and-see. In the Belgian league, I have the impression that any team can win against anyone. If you look at the rankings, that's also confirmed. Look at Union, the leader of our league. Last season, they were still playing in the second division. They score a lot of goals every weekend. I think it's an attractive and strong league."
What are your ambitions?
"I don't want to say much about that. It's impossible to predict where I will be playing football in x number of years. But here at KV Oostende I want to conquer a starting place and help the team to have a quiet season. It's a cliché, but I look at it match by match. I don't want to talk about the future of my career. I want to perform in the present and only then look further."