Wednesday 28 October at 19:45 hour - De Kuip, Rotterdam

KNVB beker




Ajax is a good indicator, says Van Bronckhorst

There is a lot at stake for the hosts when Feyenoord welcome Ajax to De Kuip in the KNVB Cup on Wednesday evening. A fixture against the big rivals is always special occasion, but this time there is an extra incentive – advancement in the cup. ‘That tournament is very important for us,’ said Giovanni van Bronckhorst during his preview the day before the match. ‘We want to win the cup.’

Ajax is a good indicator, says Van Bronckhorst

The game against Ajax is also an opportunity to gauge where his side are at the moment. Feyenoord lost the first high-stakes match at PSV earlier this season, but have responded to the disappointment well. Performances have improved since then and the wins have kept on coming. ’I’m curious to see where we stand as a team,’ said head coach Van Bronckhorst on Tuesday. ‘This fixture is a good indicator for the whole team.’

Wednesday’s tie has added significance for Van Bronckhorst, as it is the first time he faces Ajax as head coach of Feyenoord. Unsurprisingly, De Kuip is sold out. ‘That’s obviously special. In this case completely, because both sides have started the league season well. Playing at home also adds something extra, as does the fact that it is an evening kick-off.’

The importance of Feyenoord versus Ajax was also emphasised by Dirk Kuyt, who joined Van Bronckhorst for the press conference. ‘Beating Ajax is something you never forget,’ said the striker, who has netted six goals in the past two matches. ‘I have clear memories of every match I’ve played for Feyenoord against Ajax. The joy and the pride when you win are fantastic. We have to make sure we experience that again tomorrow.’

It is not yet certain whether Rick Karsdorp will start against the league leaders. The defender has missed the last three matches due to groin complaints. ‘We’ll see what condition he is in in training this afternoon,’ said Van Bronckhorst. ‘We have to wait and see.’ The coach spoke in similar terms about Bart Nieuwkoop, who has been standing in for Karsdorp at right back. ‘Bart went off last Sunday against AZ with minor problems. He will also be tested during the final training session.’

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