Feyenoord aiming to end season on a high
With second place already guaranteed after last week’s win, Feyenoord are playing for pride in the final match of the season on Saturday. That’s certainly enough of a spur for Ronald Koeman, who takes his men to Alkmaar looking or another three points against AZ. ‘We want to finish the season well,’ the head coach emphasised, backing up his words with the news that he will play his strongest team in his final match in charge of Feyenoord.
‘The pressure is off after last week,’ Koeman added. ‘That said, we want to win this match too, if only to finish the season well. That fits the mentality of the players and the technical staff. For that reason, we will start with the strongest possible eleven. Only Daryl Janmaat is missing, as a precautionary measure, whereas Erwin Mulder is not fit enough to play.’
Koeman took the opportunity on Friday to look back on the season, which he described as the toughest in his time as Feyenoord coach. ‘Because the expectations were much greater after two good years and we had set ourselves the goal of going for the very best we could,’ he explained. ‘Within our means and with full devotion for the club, we the technical staff have done our utmost to achieve the best possible return, with second place the key result. I also feel we played the most attractive football this season. Certainly at home we have almost always treated the crowd to attacking football.’
As a consequence of the offensive style, Feyenoord have scored in every match since the winter break, and Koeman and his men want to continue the run in Alkmaar. ‘But AZ will also want to put in a good performance in their final home match,’ said the coach. ‘Knowing Dick [Advocaat], he won’t want the season to peter out. On the other hand, the team will not go all out and risk everything, because they still have the play-offs.’