KOEMAN SEES NO ALTERNATIVE BUT THREE POINTS

Erwin Koeman will be looking to secure his first victory against RKC Waalwijk since his appointment as head coach when the team meet Sunday at De Kuip. Feyenoord have failed to win any of the four meetings between the clubs since Koeman moved from the Mandemakers Stadium in the summer of 2005. ‘It’s about time. And let’s be realistic, at De Kuip we simply have to win against RKC.’ After the disappointing reverse in Breda last week, Koeman is fully aware of the need to turn things round fast.

Club captain Theo Lucius was critical after the 1-4 loss at Rat Verlegh Stadium, demanding a response from both players and coaches. Lucius was invited to explain his words to Koeman and assistant coach John Metgod, who felt that the captain had overstepped the mark. ‘His words were an expression of frustration and after such a big defeat I can understand them to some extent. He did not mention anyone by name anyway. He spoke emotionally, but I told him that he has to be careful about what he says.’

Looking ahead to the game, the coach had some good news to report Friday. Tests on Jacob Lensky show that the player is not carrying an injury. ‘They showed there’s nothing wrong with him; that the few times he’s had cramp it has been down to tension,’ said Koeman, who admitted that he may include Alfred Schreuder, Lensky or both from the start against RKC. ‘They are basically fit enough to play.’ Serginho Greene may also return to the starting line-up. The defender has been suffering from a painful knee, but he returned to squad training on Thursday. There will be greater clarity on his availability the day before the match.

One player who will definitely be in the first eleven is Henk Timmer. The keeper was close to being transferred out of the club this week, but his move to Villareal fell through. Koeman was happy to confirm that Timmer is not tripping anyone up at De Kuip with his long face however. ‘Henk has handled it well. It was probably his last chance for an adventure, but there were enough reasons for him to want to stay. So he is certainly not disappointed.’

Koeman will be without Romeo Castelen, Dwight Tiendalli, Patrick Lodewijks, Sebastián Pardo and the suspended Nicky Hofs.

RKC Waalwijk were slow out of the blocks this season, as the club continued its poor form from 2005-6. It cost coach Adrie Koster his job at the end of the year, with the club firmly rooted at the foot of the table. Former Feyenoord Mark Wotte technical manager has the job of reviving the club’s fortunes.

The main problem is scoring goals. Seventeen in 21 starts is a meagre return by anyone’s standards, which suggests that Rick Hoogendorp is a big loss up front. Technical manager Henry van der Vegt has confirmed an interest in FC Dordrecht striker Cecilio Lopes to try and stop the rot. Lopes has already claimed 18 goals this season in the first division.

The Waalwijk outfit will take hope from the last encounter against Feyenoord, which ended in a 3-2 win to dump the Maassiders out of the cup. Defender Stephan Keller scored the winning goal on that occasion.

EREDIVISIE
Feyenoord – RKC Waalwijk
Sunday 28 January, 14:30 at De Kuip
Referee: Kuipers

PROBABLE LINE-UPS
Feyenoord: Timmer; Greene (Buijs), Vlaar, Bahia, Drenthe; De Guzman, Lucius, Buijs (Schreuder); Kolkka, Charisteas, Huysegems
RKC Waalwijk: Wevers; Teixeira, Mulder, Keller, Fung A Wing; Berger, Koenders, Fuchs; De Ceulaer, Janssen, Van den Bergh

LAST TEN LEAGUE MEETINGS

DE KUIP
12/3/2006 Feyenoord - RKC Waalwijk 1-1
24/10/2004 Feyenoord - RKC Waalwijk 4-0
21/3/2004 Feyenoord - RKC Waalwijk 1-0
11/5/2003 Feyenoord - RKC Waalwijk 2-1
31/3/2002 Feyenoord - RKC Waalwijk 1-1

MANDEMAKERS
15/10/2006 RKC Waalwijk - Feyenoord 2-2
23/10/2005 RKC Waalwijk - Feyenoord 2-1
19/3/2005 RKC Waalwijk - Feyenoord 2-4
21/12/2003 RKC Waalwijk - Feyenoord 0-0
23/11/2002 RKC Waalwijk - Feyenoord 1-0

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