The official website for European football

Club Brugge over troubled water

Published: Monday 12 December 2005, 10.16CET
Club Brugge KV may have bowed out of the UEFA Champions League last week but Jan Ceulemans believes the momentum gained in Europe could pay dividends at home.
by David Minton
from Bruges

UEFA.com features

Goals galore: The best of matchday three
  • Goals galore: The best of matchday three
  • Penalties: How to hit them, where to put them
  • Upwardly-mobile Roma impress Xabi Alonso
  • Benatia ready for quick return to Roma
  • Masterclass: Džeko's heading guide
  • Malmö, Welbeck, Totti: The best of matchday two
  • See Xavi's UEFA Champions League story
  • More away day blues in store?
  • Masterclass: Ibrahimović on beating opponents
  • Bulgaria buzzing as Ludogorets host Real Madrid
1 of 10
 
 
Published: Monday 12 December 2005, 10.16CET

Club Brugge over troubled water

Club Brugge KV may have bowed out of the UEFA Champions League last week but Jan Ceulemans believes the momentum gained in Europe could pay dividends at home.
Club Brugge KV may have bowed out of the UEFA Champions League last week but Jan Ceulemans believes the momentum gained in Europe could pay dividends at home.

Stirring form
With the Belgian season soon heading into its winter break, Club Brugge are hitting some of their best form of the season following a reasonably tentative start to the campaign. With confidence high, they are ready to take their place among the top sides at home and battle for the title - and UEFA Cup glory - in the spring.

Useful position
"We've caught up with [RSC] Anderlecht and [R.] Standard [de Liège] and they still have to play each other before the winter break," said Ceulemans ahead of yesterday's 2-2 draw with KRC Genk, a result which leaves his side three points off the summit. "With some of my players coming back from injury I think we can definitely challenge for the title."

Strong squad
Burgeoning form has been encouraging competition among Ceulemans' squad, and several youngsters got their chance to impress as Club Brugge held FC Bayern München to a 1-1 draw in their final Group A game - a match which featured a strike that Javier Portillo called "one of the most beautiful of my career".

Butina impressed
Teenagers Jason Vandelannoite and Jeanvion Yulu-Matondo emerged with reputations enhanced, earning praise from goalkeeper Tomislav Butina. "I've known for a long time that lads like Jason and Yulu had quality," said the Croatian. "Club Brugge is not just about the first XI, and the youngsters did very well."

Unsettled side
Ceulemans has a squad of 30 players but would love to have a more settled team. He said: "I don't like to change the team too much but injuries have meant I've never been able to pick the same XI two matches running," he said. "Players need to play together to be on the same wavelength."

Sollied foundation
However, considering the situation that Belgium's most-capped international player inherited when he took over from Trond Sollied at the start of the season, he cannot be too disappointed. Having lost a number of first-team players in the summer, Club Brugge are back on their feet again.

Lange returning
"I'm happy with that," he said. "But there's still room for improvement. We're not yet playing the kind of football I'd like us to play. The return of my best goalscorer Rune Lange, who hasn't yet played a full match, will help and other players are about to return to action as well."

Percentage game
For Ceulemans, the side remains a work in progress and he will not rest until the job is complete. "At the moment I'd say the team have reached about 80 per cent of their potential. If we manage to reach 100 per cent after the winter break then we've every chance of retaining the Belgian title."

Last updated: 12/12/05 12.09CET

Related information

Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/news/newsid=378466.html#club+brugge+over+troubled+water

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The CHAMPIONS LEAGUE and UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE words, the UEFA Champions League logo and trophy and the UEFA Champions League Final logos are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.