If Feyenoord can secure the win at De Kuip on Sunday it will extend their lead on the 5th place side to 11 points, a significant advantage. ‘Our primary objective this season is to qualify for Europe,’ reiterated Koeman on Friday. ‘We will be very close to that objective if we beat FC Utrecht.’
At the same time, victory would keep Feyenoord firmly in the title race. ‘It’s only logical the outside world is talking about that,’ admitted Koeman. ‘We are on the right track, but we know too that we still have to win a lot of matches before we can get there. In that regard, we continue to work in the same way we’ve been working until now.’
An important factor in that is the need for a good balance between work and rest. With that in mind, the players who are in the final Netherlands squad were given an extra day off earlier this week, ahead of their international commitments next week. The policy seems to be paying off, because Koeman is again able to choose from a full squad for the weekend.
On Friday Tonny Vilhena heard that he was in the final national squad for the first time. The youngster will feel relatively at home, as he ise joined by six teammates. ‘We’re very proud that seven lads have been selected of course,’ said Koeman. ‘I don’t know if that’s happened before at Feyenoord. It’s a step Tonny has earned. He’s knocking on the door, he is very talented and he’s showing he is making progress.’