First Team

“Compete with the best”

VfL head coach Mark van Bommel and captain Koen Casteels are raring to go ahead of their first Champions League group game.

On Tuesday 14 September, the Wolves kick off their UEFA Champions League group campaign with a trip to French champions OSC Lille (kick-off 21:00 CEST). VfL boss Mark van Bommel and skipper Koen Casteels addressed the assembled media on Monday ahead of the game.

Mark van Bommel on…

…VfL’s approach against Lille: “We’re trying to prepare the lads as well as possible so they know what’s going on and what the opponents are doing. We’ll do everything we can to win the game.”

…his emotions: “There’s always great excitement, whether you’re a player or a coach. The Champions League is the biggest competition at club level and you always want to compete with the best. Being successful isn’t so easy because you’re playing against good opponents.”

…OSC Lille, who have not made a particularly strong start to the campaign: “I obviously don’t know exactly what’s going on in Ligue 1 and at the club. I think Lille are very strong. They weren’t crowned Ligue 1 champions for nothing – it’s not an easy league. In Europe, and in the Champions League in particular, you can’t underestimate anyone – and that’s not what we’re doing.”

…personnel: “Kevin Mbabu and Jerome Roussillon are available, just like last Saturday. We did make changes, and maybe we’ll do the same again tomorrow.”

Koen Casteels on…

…his feelings ahead of the Champions League opener: “Naturally there’s great excitement ahead of the start of the group stage. We’ve recovered well from the game at Greuther Fürth, which wasn’t that long ago. We’re fresh and we’ve got a nice game coming up – something we worked very, very hard for last year.”

…VfL’s remarkably impressive defensive record: “We’ve only played four league games but we’ve kept three clean sheets and conceded only one goal. That’s one of our strengths – attacking with eleven and defending with eleven.”

Gallery: final training session