Koeman: ‘We want to keep battling on two fronts’

Ronald Koeman returns with his squad to Heerenveen for the first time since Feyenoord secured a second-place finish there at the end of last season. Like then, there’s plenty riding on the game, namely a quarterfinal spot in the KNVB cup, a tournament Koeman is taking very seriously. ‘The cup is a great prize to win,’ said the coach Tuesday afternoon at De Kuip. ‘So we will be putting out the strongest possible team.’

Not for the first time this season, Koeman has plenty of choices to make, with only Terence Kongolo and John Goossens unavailable. However, the coach is not of a mind to make changes to his starting eleven. ‘Of course, it’s nice to have lots of options in a week we play three matches, but everyone looks fit. So I’m sure we can continue to battle on two fronts with this team.’
Bruno Martins Indi is also available for selection against the Frisians, in spite of his red card last Sunday against ADO Den Haag. It was rescinded by the KNVB, but Koeman realises that Feyenoord could have come out of Sunday’s match much more the worse for wear. Graziano Pellè and Kamohelo Mokotjo were not the only players to make risky challenges. ‘We have discussed that in the group,’ said Koeman. ‘It’s good to want to get the maximum return during a match like that, but you have to make sure you don’t give the referee the chance to send you off.’
The tie against sc Heerenveen pits Koeman against Marco van Basten, a former team-mate, for the second time this season. ‘Given the departure of key players it’s only logical that they are not doing as well as they did last season. That said, they regularly play some good stuff, which is why I feel they are lower down than they should be. In footballing terms sc Heerenveen are dangerous opponents, although I do see opportunities for us physically.’
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