Koeman: ‘FC Twente will come out fighting’

Feyenoord ultimately brushed aside Xerxes/DZB in Thursday’s cup tie, scoring four times in the final half an hour or so, but Sunday’s opponent’s FC Twente had a tougher night of it, going out 1-2 to second-tier side FC Den Bosch at home. Ronald Koeman feels the defeat will have a big impact on the Eredivise leaders. ‘Yesterday’s result will have helped pile the pressure on Twente. We want to take advantage of that.’

At the same time, Koeman realises that the defeat can give the Enschede outfit more motivation to put the record straight on Sunday. ‘Twente will come out fighting,’ explained the coach. ‘On the other hand, they are not a team that normally goes all out from the first minute; they tend to build as the game wears on. With their individual qualities, the two wingers Chadli and Tadic are often key.’

Koeman was in no mood on Friday to say anything about who would be taking the place of Kelvin Leerdam, after the coach announced he would be looking for an alternative in response to the midfielder’s decision not to renew his contract. ‘But I’m not dropping Kelvin from the squad,’ Koeman clarified. ‘If we need him again I’ll play him. It’s just that I am now putting my trust in someone else, which I think will enable us to get our midfield back in shape in the long run.’

Koeman, who was involved in a long discussion with Leerdam on the training pitch on Friday, stressed that he does not have a problem with the youth international. ‘Kelvin has always given his all for the club. He is one of the lads a coach most enjoys working with. It’s just that I’m not looking at what’s best for the team and for the club.’

Stefan de Vrij remained on the sidelines during training amid a concern about some minor knocks picked up in the Xerxes/DZB game. Koeman expects the defender to rejoin the squad on Saturday and be available for selection on Sunday. Lex Immers, who also picked up a bad knock on Thursday, is likely to be back in good shape in time for the trip to the Grolsch Veste.

Feyenoord: Lamprou; Janmaat, De Vrij, Mathijsen, Martins Indi; Vilhena (Vormer), Immers, Clasie; Schaken, Pellè, Verhoek (Boëtius).
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