Feyenoord at full strength for Roda trip
Giovanni van Bronckhorst knows one thing for sure after Friday training ahead of the weekend away match at Roda JC: he has plenty of options. Save long-term treatment room regulars Rodny Lopes Cabral and Stef Gronsveld, the head coach will have a full squad to choose from in Kerkrade.
Van Bronckhorst heard some good news about Eljero Elia before players and staff left the dressing room at De Kuip for squad training on Friday. The KNVB’s disciplinary committee has decided that the pacey winger will not have to serve a ban after picking up a red card in Monday night’s reserve match. ‘Eljero is a very important player for us. He proved that again last week against Willem II with his performance off the bench and his decisive goal,’ said Van Bronckhorst. ‘Sufficient reason to want to keep him on board.’
The head coach did have a quiet chat with Elia earlier in the week to discuss what happened at Varkenoord on Monday. Van Bronckhorst reminded the winger of his status as an international with 28 Dutch appearances to his name. ‘That means that some opponents love playing against him and will do anything they can to get him out of the match. If Eljero feels that a situation is getting out of hand he has to step away. The most important thing is that he never again gets into a situation like last Monday’s.’
Once everyone was on the training pitch Van Bronckhorst saw that Eric Botteghin and Michiel Kramer were able to take part with the rest of the squad without holding back. Botteghin missed the match against Willem II and trained on his own at the start of the week, while striker Kramer was forced off mid-match against the Tilburg outfit with an ankle injury. ‘Both players are available for selection on Sunday,’ said the coach on Friday afternoon.
The three points earned against Willem II moved Feyenoord up to joint second in the table. The weekend’s opponents Roda JC, who only won promotion to the Eredivisie last season, are just a few places lower, in sixth, with ten points from five matches. ‘That means they have also started well,’ concluded Van Bronckhorst, who will take a last training session at 10am on Saturday ahead of the match.