Feyenoord travel to Deventer in confident mood
Feyenoord journey out east to Deventer this weekend full of belief for a game against local club Go Ahead Eagles. That’s down to a good run of results that has catapulted Ronald Koeman’s side up the table after a lethargic start. Five wins out of six – the only slipup was a draw against N.E.C. in Nijmegen – means that Feyenoord can climb to the top of the Eredivisie by taking all three points at De Adelaarshorst.
The coach himself was doing his best to keep minds focused on Friday afternoon. ‘After a poor start in the league we have gradually improved the quality of our game recently. Confidence is growing as a result. But if we want to beat Go Ahead Eagles on Saturday we’ll have to play another good, aggressive match, or we’ll fail.’
Koeman knows what he can expect from Saturday’s opponents. ‘Go Ahead Eagles are a club that belongs in the Eredivisie just as Cambuur are. Both clubs play uninhibited in a 4-3-3 system with lots of individual duels, encouraged by a fanatic crowd of supporters. We’ll have to make sure we have the initiative or we could find it tough there. That was how it turned out two years ago when we were knocked out of the cup by Go Ahead Eagles.’
A Feyenoord side lacking internationals played a training game against Excelsior on Tuesday and Koeman was satisfied with how his men performed. Last year we lost a training game against Excelsior, that’s not acceptable,’ he said. ‘I came away from Tuesday’s game feeling much better. I want to see players that take a game like that serious and that was certainly the case.’
Lex Immers is available again for selection on Saturday after missing the win at Vitesse with a back problem. Otman Bakkal is in line for his first competitive start of the season. The midfielder played 75 minutes against Excelsior and is very close to match fitness. ‘He’s ready to come on off the bench,’ said Koeman.