Mutiny on the coast: KV Oostende players strike as relegation looms

On the 13th of April rumours began to emerge of a strike taking place amongst Oostende’s players. According to Het Nieuwsblad, Thierry Ambrose and Maxime D’Arpino were at the forefront of a players strike in order to force a change of management from Dominik Thalhammer to U23 coach Kurt Bataille. The clubs President Gauthier Ganaye was absent with flu at the time, but was able to communicate that a change of head coach was not an option.

Eventually the strike was called off and the players returned to training. It appears that the reasons for the protest was that the players felt that the style of play Thalhammer wants them to carry out, that of high pressing, was naïve and not what was required in their battle to avoid relegation. It was clear in their recent 5-0 defeat to Sint-Truiden that things were not harmonious in the camp.

With just two games left, Oostende have to win both their remaining games and hope that Eupen lose at least one. Eupen themselves face off against another relegation candidate this weekend in Zulte Waregem, who lost in dramatic fashion to Charleroi last weekend. Oostende face OH Leuven, who have nothing to play for, before a trip to Gent to finish the season.

Should Oostende and Zulte Waregem fail to win, they will both join RFC Seraing in relegation to the Belgian second tier.

GBeNeFN | Ben Jackson

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