Koeman looking to prolong league run
Saturday sees Feyenoord travel to ADO Den Haag on Eredivisie business just three days after going out of the cup to Ajax. The defeat in Amsterdam was a body blow, but the match in The Hague is an immediate opportunity to get back on track. ‘We are fully focused on the league and we want to continue our good form there,’ explained Ronald Koeman at De Kuip the day before the match.
Feyenoord started well in Amsterdam but fell away after scoring an early goal. The head coach feels that a loss of concentration was the biggest factor in that. ‘We executed the compact playing style we had chosen well in the first half an hour, because everyone was concentrating and doing their job. The second goal we conceded showed better than anything else that we did not keep that up. In that situation it was clear to see that there was too much space between our lines. So in the post-mortem we really only had to show the footage from that moment. The most important lesson for us is that we have to get better at keeping our concentration.’
With such a short turnaround, there’s been little time to dwell much more on the cup tie, but Koeman did touch on the wider significance of the elimination. ‘We’ve lost a good shot at a trophy, although the draw often has a big say in how much of a chance you have. After last season’s away match against PSV, we once more did not have luck on our side drawing Ajax away. That said, we are still in with a chance in the league, we don’t have to change our goal there.’
Trailing the joint leaders by four points, Feyenoord do need a good result in The Hague if they are to stay in the mix at the top of the table. Saturday’s opponents are bottom of the pile and need to dig themselves out of a hole. ‘They are in turmoil, but the team will no doubt respond to that on the pitch. Our job is to deal with that properly by keeping our concentration. We want to continue our good form in the league.’
Koeman suggested that John Goossens would come in for the suspended Tonny Vilhena against the Eredivisie’s basement team. Stefan de Vrij returns from a suspension of his own, while Ruud Vormer remains sidelined with groin trouble.