Feyenoord travel to Kerkrade brimming with ambition
Shortly after informing the squad of his decision not to renew his contract as head coach on Saturday, Ronald Koeman made it clear that his approaching departure does not affect his ambitions for the rest of the season. Koeman wanted his men to know that there’s still so much Feyenoord can achieve. And that begins at Roda JC Kerkrade on Tuesday. ‘We will have to win that one to attain the goal or to achieve the ambition to finish even higher,’ Koeman said at De Kuip the day before the match.
The coach made it clear that he’s not afraid of the season petering out after announcing his departure. ‘Players don’t play for their coach, they play for themselves and the club. Everyone benefits from performing as well as possible. Some are also playing for a World Cup place. As coach you cannot influence everything, but I will do everything I can over the coming months to continue to get the best out of the situation. I expect the players to do that too and it’s something I will be giving extra attention to over the coming months.’
There’s still thirteen matches left on the fixture list, starting with Roda JC Kerkrade away on Tuesday. ‘The away game at Roda JC has proven tough for us in recent years. It means little to me that they are so low in the table, because it was shown again at the weekend that no team in the Eredivisie goes into a match without a chance. You can never be sure of winning. For us it’s clear: we have to win if we want to achieve our ambitions.’
With Joris Mathijsen unavailable due to an eye bleed, Terence Kongolo makes a good chance of starting another game after playing against Vitesse. ‘Terence did well,’ Koeman said. ‘He was calm on the ball, made the right decisions and was strong in tackles too. It hasn’t always been easy for him in recent months, when he’s had to have a lot of patience. During the winter break there was interest from clubs that wanted to take him on loan, but we made it clear to him that there was a good chance we would need him. I’m happy I gave him the chance.’