BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Vincent Kompany has said he will not be swayed from his plans to rebuild Anderlecht and will stick with a policy of fielding young players despite losing at home in his first match in charge of Belgium’s most successful club.
Kompany’s debut turned into a horror on Sunday as they were upset 2-1 by unfancied Oostende on the opening weekend of the new league season.
But the 33-year-old, who played in central defence, says he will not compromise on his philosophy and insists the club’s management and supporters have bought into his plans.
“I had a feeling before the match that this scenario might play out,” he said of Anderlecht’s early dominance and goal, followed by a successful Oostende fightback.
“But I remain 100 percent behind the football that we believe in and there will be no compromise over playing these youngsters.”
Kompany’s first starting line-up as coach included two 19-year-olds, one 18-year-old and 17-year-old debutant Jeremy Doku as lead attacker.
“There were a lot of lessons for these youngsters to take from the game,” he told reporters.
Kompany, who began at Anderlecht as a six-year-old junior, returned to the club after 13 years at Hamburg and Manchester City.
He wants to restore Anderlecht’s reputation as a club that develops phenomenal talent, in much the same way as Ajax Amsterdam across the border in the Netherlands.
“We cannot be an inbetween team. We must keep going with what we believe in, without compromise,” he said.
“I knew what I wanted to do when I got here and I’m sticking to that policy. We want to play football and bring our attacking players into the game as much as possible.
“The club and the fans are behind these ideas but I also realise that Anderlecht are a club who have to achieve results.”
Last season, they finished sixth out of six teams in the championship playoffs and missed out on 2019-2020 European club competition.
Kompany’s team next play away to Mouscron on Sunday.
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ian Ransom)