Van Bronckhorst: ‘We will grab our chance with both hands’
It’s do or die for Feyenoord in this Sunday’s playoff semi-final second leg against SC Heerenveen at De Kuip. Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side have to turn the tie around after the 1-0 defeat at the Abe Lenstra Stadium on Thursday. The coach is confident that his men will leave it all on the field in their quest to get the result they need to progress to the final against PEC Zwolle or Vitesse. ‘We will grab our chance with both hands on Sunday,’ said Van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon.
Van Bronckhorst looked back on Thursday’s game – his first as head coach – with mixed feelings. ‘Obviously I wasn’t happy, because it means we are in a less good position than if we had drawn. On the other hand, I have seen a team that left everything out on the field, just as we had agreed beforehand. The lads played as a team with lots of passion, this deserves a compliment.’
Van Bronckhorst wants to see the same attitude on Sunday, but this time he also needs to see goals if Feyenoord are to advance in front of their own fans. In that respect, an away goal in Heerenveen would have been very welcome. ‘We would have liked to score, of course, but we have another chance on Sunday.’ He feels a sold-out Kuip can drive his team on. ‘I’m sure we can turn it around with the support of our fans.’
Bilal Basaçikoglu was carried off on a stretcher near the end of the game at the Abe Lenstra Stadium, but the winger had some positive news afterwards. ‘I got cramp,’ said Basaçikoglu, who started a first-team match for the first time in two months. ‘It took a lot of getting used to early on, that’s for sure, because the pace of a game like that is obviously a lot faster than in the development team. Still, I think I can be reasonably happy with my performance, although I would have liked to have contributed more in an attacking sense.’
Basaçikoglu, who arrived at De Kuip last summer from SC Heerenveen, is happy to have been given a chance by the new man in charge. ‘The coach playing me in his first game expresses a lot of confidence. We came close to getting a good result, but then that disappointing goal came near the end. But I’m certain we have a good chance of getting through on Sunday. Whether I’ll be starting? I obviously hope so.’