Ronald Koeman expects this weekend’s game to be the tougher of the two. ‘All things being equal an away game at ADO is more difficult than a home game against NAC, because we generally have fewer problems winning at home than away,’ said the head coach on Friday afternoon. ‘There again, we’ll have to wait and see what condition NAC are in next week when they visit,’ continued Koeman, alluding to the fact that the Breda side are not yet mathematically safe from relegation.
Another variable is Feyenoord’s recent inconsistency away from home, with a loss and a draw in the last two games. Despite standing third in the league, Feyenoord have actually conceded more than they have scored away from home this season. A fact not lost on Koeman, who acknowledges that his side need to raise their performance away from De Kuip. ‘The crowd has an impact on that of course,’ he admitted. ‘We do better than expected in some games at De Kuip because of their support. But you will not win the league if you only win your home games.’
‘It has happened often enough this season that we were the better team in away games, but were unable to put it to bed,’ added Koeman. ‘There are many examples of games in which we gave away points when we should not have done. This is a step we still have to make. Hopefully we will be able to start doing that against ADO Den Haag on Sunday.’
It is still unclear whether Stefan de Vrij will be available to Koeman in The Hague. The defender left the Friday morning training session early due to an ankle problem. Jean-Paul Boëtius is definitely ruled out with a knee injury.