Fired coach gets round of applause

After another shock defeat, KRC Genk fired their head coach, Dutchman Mario Been, late on Sunday. The chemistry between the coach and the players was gone, it was argued. KRC Genk are also feeling the pressure from AA Gent in their battle to obtain the 6th and final ticket for Play-off 1. Yesterday, Genk were stunned by modest Waasland-Beveren, while AA Gent posted a shock win at leaders Standard. Emilio Ferreira will have to steer KRC Genk to Play-off 1.

Mario Been's position had been in danger for weeks. Genk only picked up 3 points from 9 matches and were ousted in the Belgian Cup quarter-finals by KV Oostende.

The win in Genk (Limburg) allowed Waasland-Beveren to move out of the relegation zone, while at the same time Genk saw AA Gent reducing the gap to 3 points. Genk are currently still 6th in the standings, and desperately need to hold on to that place to secure the final ticket for Play-off 1.

It is believed that this, in combination with the fact that frictions emerged between 50-year-old Been and some key players, led to the Dutchman's dismissal. Mario Been has been with the club for 2.5 years. Mario Been will be replaced by 46-year-old Emilio Ferreira, who previously was at the helm of Club Brugge, Lokeren, FC Brussels and La Louvière among other clubs. A young promising coach in the past, he never managed his big breakthrough at the highest level.

"He is a good coach and a good person"

At a press conference this morning, the Genk management gave more details about their decision. "We are saying goodbye to someone who is a good person and a good coach - no doubt about that", General Manager Dirk Degraen told reporters.

"His dismissal is not about whether he is a good coach or a good person. I think everybody agrees on that. The only question is whether we can now find someone else who can strike the chord that Mario failed to find at a certain stage. (...) Mario realised that one day the defeat would come that would mean the straw that broke the camel's back." Mr Degraen next asked a round of applause from his audience to thank Mario Been.

KRC Genk want to find a replacement as soon as possible, maybe even before the Europa League tie against Anzji this Thursday. Last week, Genk managed a goalless draw in Russia.

Club Brugge score 5 in Leuven

In other action on Sunday, Standard suffered a first home defeat of the season against AA Gent (2-3). Central defender Ante Puljic headed home the winning-goal for Ghent 1 minute from time. 

Club Brugge defeated OH Leuven 2-5 in Leuven and seem to be reaching their best form just in time for the shock against leaders Standard next weekend, in Bruges. A Bruges win would reduce the gap with leaders Standard to just 4 points.