Van Bronckhorst expects Feyenoord to ‘get back into the groove’
For Feyenoord the Eredivisie resumes on Sunday with a huge fixture at home to PSV. The visitors are currently second in the league, one place higher than Feyenoord, so there’s certainly plenty at stake for both sides. That was confirmed by coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst at De Kuip two days before the game: ‘It’s very important that we make a good start to the second half of the season.’
Feyenoord managed to stay ahead of the reigning champions in the Eredivisie table for much of the autumn, but the loss at N.E.C. in the last round of fixtures before the winter break meant PSV moved two points ahead of the Rotterdammers. Van Bronckhorst understands that victory on Sunday will put his side back into second place. ‘The defeat in Nijmegen was disappointing, but the pain has gone. We are looking forward and on Sunday we start the chase. For us it’s a very important match where we have to get back into the groove.’
While Feyenoord ended the first half of the season with a loss, PSV began the winter break in great mood. That was mainly due to the excellent performances in the Champions League. The Eindhoven outfit edged out Manchester United and CSKA Moscow to go through to the last 32 with Vfl Wolfsburg.
Van Bronckhorst congratulated Sunday’s opponents on what he called a ‘very impressive achievement’. He went on: ‘It is a long time since a Dutch club made it through the winter in the Champions League. Every team gets stronger by playing at the top level. Thanks in part to the European matches PSV’s team is packed with a lot of experience. We’ll have to be at our best on Sunday to win.’
Sunday’s visitors will feel the same way, given that PSV have lost the corresponding fixture at De Kuip every time over the past five seasons. Feyenoord have won ten of their eleven home matches this season in league and cup, too, which shows how strong they are at home. ‘We obviously want to keep that run going,’ said Van Bronckhorst, who will not be able to count on Eric Botteghin on Sunday. The defender is on the way back from a hamstring injury, but is still not ready to make an appearance