By Kayode Ogundare:
KRC Genk’s Nigerian international Wilfred Ndidi has blamed his side’s 6-0 defeat at the hands of Oostende in a Belgian Pro League game on Sunday on the exertions of combining the Europa League with domestic competitions with a small squad.
Genk suffered their worst defeat in five years (a 7-0 loss to Valencia in the Champions League in November 2011) as goals from Franck Berrier, Antonio Milic, Knowledge Musona, GFohi Cyriac and a brace from Landry Dimata helped Oostende to a comfortable win after Genk’s Leon Bailey was sent off in the 70th minute with the visitors trailing by three goals.
Ndidi, who also received a yellow card in the 55th minute, his fifth of the season, was distraught at the outcome of the game which he considered scandalous.
“This was our worst defeat ever," Super Eagles star Ndidi told Completesportsnigeria.com.
"Personally I’ve never lost by such a margin in my career and I can tell you that we are all downcast as a team. I also feel for the supporters who travelled away for the game. It was tough on everyone.”
The Super Eagles midfielder attributed the heavy defeat to the rigours of fixtures congestion with the Blue-Whites having to play three games in eight days.
Ndidi added: “We have a very small squad and playing three games in eight days was always going to hurt us. We played Eupen last weekend, faced Rapid Vienna in the Europa League on Thursday and on Sunday again we had to play Oostende. I’m not fishing for excuses but when you play this number of games in such short intervals with almost the same set of players then you can be sure the players will be tired.”
However Ndidi has rallied his teammates not to dwell too much on the result which is gone but to focus on the challenges ahead as they battle for honours in the Europa League as well as pushing for a shot at the Belgian title.
“Biggest defeat ever, but everyday is a chance to get better. Heads up guys we will come back stronger,” he wrote on his Twitter handle @ndidi25
Genk are through to the next round of the Europa League even with a game in hand and sit in eighth place in the domestic league table with 24 points from 16 games.
The game at Oostende was Ndidi’s 21st start of the season for Genk in all competitions and he has scored twice for The Smurfs.