Nelom: ‘We owe it to ourselves to reach the next round’
Feyenoord take on amateur opponents at De Kuip on Wednesday evening in the third round of the cup, but coach Ronald Koeman and his men are taking the match very seriously indeed. HSV Hoek play in the Hoofdklasse, the fourth tier of Dutch football, but Feyenoord are approaching the game like an Eredivisie match, says defender Miquel Nelom. ‘Our preparations are exactly the same. We’ve watched footage of our opponents and discussed their strong and less strong points. This is a serious game for us. We owe it to ourselves to reach the next round of the cup.’
Feyenoord have a record to put straight, too, after Sunday’s painful loss at home to Heracles Almelo. A win last weekend would have lifted the Rotterdammers to the top of the Eredivisie, but they ultimately finished the weekend down in eighth place, albeit just two points off the summit in a very tight table.
‘Over the past few days we’ve obviously spoken about what went wrong,’ says Nelom. ‘That said, we haven’t spent too much time thinking about the game because we all know we should have done better. The main thing is that we have to be more effective. We would have made things a lot easier for ourselves if we’d scored more in the first half.’
Nelom feels last Sunday’s defeat is one reason why Feyenoord want a big win against Hoek. ‘It would do us good to win and score a lot of goals. Hopefully we’ll also be able to improve our positional play too. It can give us a boost ahead of Sunday’s away game at Cambuur.’