Feyenoord focused ahead of Heerenveen
Giovanni van Bronckhorst will likely feel the memories flooding back when Feyenoord arrive at the main entrance to the Abe Lenstra stadium on Sunday. It was a little under five months ago that the 40-year-old took charge of the Rotterdammers for the first time at the end of last season. Feyenoord ended up having to enter the Europa League play-offs after a defeat on that occasion.
Ultimately, though, the coach’s attention will be focused on the matter at hand. Feyenoord will want to pick up where they left off before the international break. Oranje players have certainly not had a great week, after failing to make Euro 2016. Kenneth Vermeer, Terence Kongolo and Eljero Elia were on the bench for the 2-3 defeat to the Czech Republic that sealed the Netherlands’ fate.
Colin Kazim-Richards and Bilal Basaçikoglu had a much better time of things. The two forwards saw their country make the cut ahead of the Dutch in the same group. ‘Today was the first day we had everyone back from their international commitments,’ said Van Bronckhorst on Friday. ‘Some players have come back feeling better than others, that’s just how it is. We’ve spoken about it. In the group and individually in some cases. The most important thing is that the lads handle it in the right way. That’s good for their development.
Van Bronckhorst is also tasked with getting his players ready for the next match. His team need to continue their excellent start in Friesland. ‘We have to be focused on that,’ warned the coach.
Van Bronckhorst does not have Rick Karsdorp in his armoury against sc Heerenveen. A groin injury keeps him on the sidelines. Bart Nieuwkoop, who replaced Karsdorp two weeks ago against De Graafschap is an option this time too, says the coach.
Van Bronckhorst does have Michiel Kramer at his disposal. He was banned after his red card in the De Graafschap, but the KNVB’s Appeals Committee will examine the striker’s case on Monday, so he is free to play.