Feyenoord look the freshest of the sides vying for the final spot in the Europa League playoffs, save a slip up at FC Volendam. Nevertheless, Vlemmings does not want to talk in terms of being the most likely to come out on top. ‘We have to show our form every game. It’s about where you are after 34 games. The only thing that matters now is the next game. We have to keep doing our stuff. We have a lot more quality than ADO.’
Feyenoord’s next game is an away fixture at ADO Den Haag, who still have everything to play for in the final three games of the season. The Hague outfit are just three points ahead of last placed De Graafschap at the moment, so survival is anything but certain. André Wetzel stepped down as coach last week and Raymond Atteveld came in to replace him. ‘Plus they have just had two very strange games,’ said Vlemmings. ‘So it’s clearly not a steady ship.’
Since ADO Den Haag returned to the top flight Feyenoord have found things tough in The Hague. That’s something that does not concern Vlemmings. ‘I’ve heard that games between ADO and Feyenoord are always strange,’ said the caretaker coach. ‘The atmosphere in which a game is played has an impact, But I don’t want to make too much of that. I didn’t do that ahead of the Twente game either. We have it in our own hands. Hopefully we can have an impact on the atmosphere with our football.’
There were two disappointments for Feyenoord Friday. Karim El Ahmadi’s ankle injury has not cleared up in time to allow him to play, so he will not even be in the squad. And Henk Timmer is still suffering from a fever. The goalkeeper was told to stay home in the early part of the week due to a back problem. ‘So I took the decision on Friday to start with Rob van Dijk,’ explained Vlemmings. ‘We are now far enough as a team not to be dependent on him to get a good result.’
It came as a shock last week when André Wetzel resigned as coach to concentrate on his duties as technical director. The Hague-born Wetzel felt that he was unable to do both jobs satisfactorily.
Raymond Atteveld was appointed coach to ensure that the squad got the attention it deserved. Atteveld, who was sacked by Roda JC earlier in the season, started well, as his side racked up a 3-0 lead at Willem II in the first half. The home side managed to claw their way back into it, though, and the match ended all square.
The game was a good example of what’s been going wrong at the club this term, because it was the eighth time this season ADO Den Haag have squandered a lead. A week earlier ten-man Sparta Rotterdam had snatched an away victory in The Hague with an injury-time strike.
Despite the sloppiness, ADO will be confident going into Sunday’s home game against Feyenoord. The hosts are not clear of the relegation mire yet, but since returning to the top flight in 2003 they have yet to lose a game to Feyenoord on their own patch.
ADO Den Haag – Feyenoord
Sunday 26 April, 12:30 pm at the ADO Den Haag Stadium
ADO Den Haag: Waterman; Ammi, Derijck, Kum, Piqué; D. Buijs,Bosschaart; Rankovic, Knopper, Powel and Verhoek.
Feyenoord: Van Dijk; Tiendalli, Landzaat, Bahia, De Cler; Leerdam, Tomasson, Fer; Wijnaldum, Makaay and Biseswar.
25/02/2007 ADO Den Haag - Feyenoord 3-3
18/12/2005 ADO Den Haag - Feyenoord 2-1
19/12/2004 ADO Den Haag - Feyenoord 2-0
15/02/2004 ADO Den Haag - Feyenoord 2-2
13/10/1991 FC Den Haag - Feyenoord 1-4
23/11/2008 Feyenoord - ADO Den Haag 3-1
10/12/2006 Feyenoord - ADO Den Haag 3-1
26/03/2006 Feyenoord - ADO Den Haag 0-2
22/05/2005 Feyenoord - ADO Den Haag 6-3
07/12/2003 Feyenoord - ADO Den Haag 4-1