Pascal Jensen anticipates great Europa League encounter with Anderlecht

Pascal Jansen is looking forward to the Conference League quarter-final showdown against Anderlecht, which will kick off with an away match on April 13, he told Voetbal International.

The aftermath of AZ’s home win against Lazio has barely been digested before a new European adventure is underway but the team’s head coach went in with no preference, insisting his team are ready with whoever they could face. 

We are ready to play against anyone. It would have been nice to reunite with John van den Brom against Lech Poznan, but we’ll just have to postpone that for a while.”

Anderlecht are going through a difficult season in the Belgian Pro League, currently occupying ninth-place in the table but that has not made Jansen complacent about facing the under-performing Belgian club. 

He said: “Anderlecht is and will remain a top club. In the competition they are performing less this season, a lot has happened, including a change of trainer. But that means nothing to me. From a European perspective they are doing fine.”

The Brussels club surprisingly eliminated Villarreal in the eighth final, thanks to a 1-0 win in Spain and a draw in a real home game. 

Jansen added: “You can counter that by saying that we are now the ones who have eliminated Lazio. This is an interesting time to meet.”

Jansen sends his best team into the field in all competitions, with the physical data from AZ showing that the players can handle the demands well. 

He said: “That says something about the strength of this selection and about our working method. 

“Because of our way of training, we can make high physical demands on the players. That’s one of our strengths.”

Next Sunday, AZ visits FC Twente, though it is not yet certain whether Sven Mijnans and Djordje Mihailovic will be present. Mijnals came out of the Lazio duel with an injured left foot and Mihailovic was missing due to illness. 

Dani de Wit has been out of circulation for some time in their attacking midfield position.

GBeNeFN | Tom Phillips

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