‘We are not looking too far ahead,’ says Koeman

After last week’s win at home to AZ that saw Feyenoord rise to third in the table, many fans are already looking ahead to next week’s visit to De Kuip of PSV. Ronald Koeman is having none of it though, stressing the importance of taking every game as it comes, starting with this Sunday’s game at PEC Zwolle. ‘There’s no reason whatsoever for us to think that we will cruise to a win there,’ said the coach on Friday.

Koeman is fully aware that Feyenoord’s good position in the table – they trail league-leaders PSV by a meagre three points – does nothing but up the pressure on his men. ‘But there is less pressure on us than on Ajax or PSV,’ said Koeman. ‘For them it’s a must, for us an aspiration. That’s the difference.’
At the same time, Koeman feels that the pressure to win every game is a given at a club like Feyenoord. ‘I like that myself,’ he said. ‘It’s a sign that we are on the right track as a club. Expectations are higher than ever, in spite of us having a lot of young players. Everyone feels appreciated in this team, including the lads on the bench.’
 
With the games coming think and fast, in the run-up to the PEC Zwolle game Koeman gave an extra day off to those players who were on international duty last week to allow them to catch their breath. He also made a conscious decision not to train on an artificial surface, although Sunday’s game at the IJsseldelta Stadium will not be played on grass. ‘We have a lot of young players who find it easy to adapt,’ explained Koeman. ‘They have been raised on artificial surfaces as it were. The most important thing is that we play our own game on Sunday.’
 
The coach did say he would be taking account of PEC Zwolle’s style. Koeman feels they should be higher in the table. ‘This season PEC have beaten PSV and last week they gave FC Twente a very tough game. PEC play adventurous. attractive football, but they do find it hard to win games. That said, they always have a chance. Our job is to put them under plenty of pressure. We have to go all out.’
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