We need to work hard to turn things around, says Rutten
Wednesday evening’s KNVB Cup exit at the hands of Go Ahead Eagles was another blow for Feyenoord after a tough start to the season, but Fred Rutten is confident that he can get his side moving in the right direction. ‘But I cannot turn things around on my own. We have to do that together, by working very hard to improve the results,’ said the coach back at De Kuip on Friday, where he looked forward to Saturday’s Eredivisie match in Deventer.
Rutten noted that his side at Adelaarshorst Stadium was a shadow of the one that dominated Ajax three days earlier. Feyenoord hit the bar three times and created a string of chances against the reigning champions, but were much less dangerous at Go Ahead Eagles. ‘The difference in the final phase was just too big,’ admitted the coach. ‘We played fine at times, up to the penalty area. That’s precisely where it has to happen, but we lacked sharpness. We absolutely have to do better there.’
The poor results in recent weeks are not a mental issue, the coach stressed. ‘The willingness and preparedness of this team are good. And I definitely have the feeling that the players understand the message I’m trying to get across as the coach. I see that on the footballing side of things, where we continue to grow as a team. It’s just that people expect Feyenoord to get more points. When they don’t come the pressure rises, which is a healthy situation. I put that pressure on myself, because I’m a winner.’
After four defeats in a row Feyenoord need to get back on track fast, starting at Go Ahead Eagles on Saturday. Ahead of the second Deventer encounter in four days Rutten said he did not plan to make many changes to his starting line-up. ‘In a situation like this one it’s important to keep the structure and frame of the team, so the organisation remains recognisable. Then everyone’s roles and responsibilities are clear.’
One change that may come is the introduction of Lex Immers, who has recovered from a hamstring injury, which kept him out of the matches against Sevilla, Ajax and Go Ahead Eagles first time round. Rutten also hopes to be able to give Khalid Boulahrouz a run-out soon but it won’t be in Deventer. The injured Rodney Lopes Cabral and the suspended Wesley Verhoek are also unavailable.