Feyenoord ready to flick the switch after Ajax
Fred Rutten normally reviews Feyenoord’s latest match within a day, but he took longer to look back on Sunday’s draw in Amsterdam. ‘I just didn’t have the energy for it,’ explained the coach at De Kuip on Friday. That was due to the deep disappointment he felt after the goalless draw. ‘It’s taken me longer than usual to get over this game.’
At the same time the match at the Amsterdam Arena provided proof that Feyenoord have come out of the winter break in a good place, after the victory over FC Twente in the first Eredivisie game of the year. ‘We have been able to pick up our form again from before the winter break,’ said Rutten. ‘The team has made good progress. We want to keep that going against ADO Den Haag on Sunday.’
It’s fairly clear to everyone at De Kuip that last week’s draw has all but scuppered Feyenoord’s chances of winning the title. ‘Our goal this season was to compete for the championship. In theory, bearing in mind how many points still up for grabs we can still go for the title, but if you’re realistic, it will be very difficult. Another factor in that is that the top two in the league this season are picking up a lot more points than last year. We have to flick the switch and make sure we finish as high as possible. The only way to do that is to always focus on the next match and to win it.’
Rutten feels that Jordy Clasie in particular is playing an important role for Feyenoord this season. The captain is making great strides and he ran the midfield last Sunday against Ajax. ‘Jordy is showing that he is developing into a very important player in the Netherlands,’ said Rutten. ‘I’ve very pleased with his progress as player and captain. To my mind he would not be out of place in the Dutch national team.’
Against ADO Den Haag Rutten will be without Elvis Manu (groin). Otherwise Feyenoord will be at full strength against a side that is currently fourth bottom in the Eredivisie. ‘I also see little or no reason to change everything,’ said Rutten.