Rutten looking forward to Ajax visit
Fred Rutten took his seat behind the microphones in the official press centre at De Kuip on Friday almost immediately after arriving back in Rotterdam from Seville with the rest of his party. Less than 24 hours after seeing his side lose 2-0 to the Europa league holders in southern Spain the head coach focused on the coming fixture against Feyenoord’s most enduring rivals. ‘If we take three points against Ajax, the world will look a lot different to us again’, said Rutten.
The loss in Seville was the fifth in ten matches for Feyenoord. Rutten feels the difficult start is down to a combination of factors. ‘It’s often a question of a ball hitting the inside or outside of the post, which helps decide the result. That means things can change in a second. We can do a lot better; we’ve shown that in earlier matches. So in the away match at Besiktas our positional play was good, like it was against FC Twente, it’s just we did not take our reward.’
Rutten was left with mixed feelings about his side’s display in Andalusia. The coach felt Feyenoord were a reasonable match for the hosts in the first half, although the gap in quality was more pronounced after the break. ‘Sevilla naturally has more quality and they are normally better than us especially in possession. The defeat is nevertheless hard to take because of the way we conceded the goals. They were very frustrating goals that wrecked our plans.’
The recent results – including Thursday’s – will have little impact on Sunday’s fixture, says Rutten. ‘These are one-off matches,’ said the coach, who is looking forward to meeting Ajax for the first time in the employment of Feyenoord. ‘We have to enjoy matches like this. It’s only normal at a big club like Feyenoord that there’s a bit more pressure after the less good results in the league. It would be strange if there weren’t. Our job is to deal with that well. In that regard I know what this team can do. We are Feyenoord and we’re going for the three points on Sunday.’
Rutten was joined at the press conference by Kenneth Vermeer, who might just be the best man to ask how Ajax should be approached on Sunday. Without going into detail, the keeper did suggest that the reigning champions do have weaknesses that Feyenoord could exploit. ‘When Ajax are put under a lot of pressure they find it difficult. We’re playing at home and we’ll go all out. If it’s a special match for me? Yes, because I played in Amsterdam for fourteen years. That doesn’t mean I’ll approach Sunday’s match any differently or whatever. It’s about me keeping well and the team putting in a good performance, with the upshot being a win against Ajax.’