Koeman has plenty of choices in Breda
Ronald Koeman has a much wider selection to choose from ahead of Sunday’s match at NAC Breda than was the case against N.E.C. Joris Mathijsen and Samuel Armenteros both returned to training this week after being sidelined with an eye injury and illness respectively. Jordy Clasie also returns to the fold after missing last weekend’s win because his partner was giving birth. Koeman was unwilling to give any clues about his starting line-up in Brabant though. ‘I will make my decisions after we hold our last training session on Saturday behind closed doors.’
The match at NAC is the first in a juicy sequence for Feyenoord that also includes top-of-the-table clashes against FC Twente and Ajax. Koeman prefers to take every game as it comes, however. ‘Bearing how unpredictable things are this season I’ve learned not to look too far ahead. There’s so little separating everyone. We just have to focus on this Sunday’s match and do what we are good at. If we do there’s every chance we’ll get a good result.’
If Feyenoord are awarded a penalty in Breda or in one of the following fixtures Tonny Vilhena is the player who will normally take it, explained Koeman. The midfielder has moved ahead of Graziano Pellè in the spot kick stakes after the Italian missed one against N.E.C. ‘Graziano is not a specialist, he knows that himself,’ posited the coach with a smile. ‘That’s precisely why I think it’s so impressive how he’s assumed the responsibility to take them lately. But Tonny is better at them, so he’ll be taking them from now on.’
In between training sessions, last week the squad and coaching staff visited the supporters’ film ‘The Other Side of the Heart is White’. ‘I’ve been coach of this club for almost three years and I’ve played here too, so I know all about how passionate Feyenoord fans are,’ said Koeman ‘That fanaticism is confirmed that little bit more in the film, which is well made with some very nice imagery. It had everything, with, as most meaningful moment, the farewell to Rooie Marck, where we were also present during the opening training session.’
Although Mathijsen, Clasie and Armenteros are all available on Sunday, the trip to NAC comes too early for Ruud Vormer. The midfielder is still recovering from a groin injury. Bruno Martins Indi is also out. The defender sits out the match as part of a three-match ban.