Rutten expects hunger from his men against PSV
PSV are runaway leaders at the top of the Eredivisie and Feyenoord have no hope of making up that gap, but Fred Rutten does not feel that takes the gloss off Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash in Rotterdam. ‘Feyenoord versus PSV is still a big game, one I’m really looking forward to,’ said the coach on Friday at the pre-match press conference. ‘To be honest I cannot wait.’
Two days before the match Rutten’s cast his mind back to the clubs’ previous meeting in Eindhoven, when a Memphis Depay goal in time added-on won it 4-3 for the hosts. ‘To my mind, that permanently ended our bid for the title. It was a painful, undeserved defeat, especially because we dominated a number of phases of play. That’s why we’re hoping to turn it into a similar game on Sunday, albeit hopefully with the right result for us this time.’
Since that mid-December victory PSV have constantly extended their lead at the top of the table and look to be on course to claim the title, something Rutten feels is no coincidence. ‘The table doesn’t lie. PSV has a balanced squad with a great deal of quality. It’s no coincidence that they have scored more than anyone and conceded fewer than anyone. The biggest difference with their rivals is that they have performed consistently.’
That said, Rutten is confident that his side can give the table-toppers an uncomfortable afternoon on Sunday. If only because Feyenoord are desperate to take the three points as the battle for direct European qualification hots up. ‘That makes us very hungry, as we always are of course in a full De Kuip.’ That’s one thing Feyenoord can count on – the game has been sold out for weeks.
Going into the weekend, Rutten has more options than he did against FC Dordrecht last week. Jean-Paul Boëtius has completely recovered from an injury and is available, while Sven van Beek returns from suspension. It’s unclear whether Colin Kazim-Richards is in contention, though. The striker, who is recovering from a hamstring injury, took a full part in Friday training. ‘It looked good. We are now waiting to see whether he has any reaction to that.’