Feyenoord earned their third Johan Cruijff Shield win in their history in Eindhoven on Saturday evening. Head coach Giovann...
Feyenoord will be hoping to round off a tough week with a third win when Erwin Koeman and his squad travel to Breda to take on NAC Sunday. Nijmegen was a rude wake-up call for the Rotterdammers after the win against Ajax, but the coach must be pleased that his side was able to grind out a win despite never really looking the part. It means that Feyenoord remain just three points behind leaders PSV and it’s clear what the stakes are Sunday. ‘We now have to keep the pressure on,’ says Erwin Koeman.
Feyenoord’s snatched victory from the jaws of defeat at De Goffert. The coach admitted that he was no longer counting on all three points, feeling that a draw was the best his team could get. He even described the victory that Feyenoord ultimately left Nijmegen with as ‘undeserved’. The luck and difficulty his team is having says something about where Feyenoord are at right now, feels Koeman. ‘If I am to believe some reports we will stroll our way to the title. But if you ask me we are still behind PSV and after NEC away we should be glad that the gap is still three points.’
Feyenoord may be just a win away from top spot, but Koeman feel that the pressure is on his team rather than the league leaders. For more than one reason. ‘PSV can afford a slip up, we simply cannot drop any points’, says Koeman. And while Guus Hiddink’s side entertain Heracles Almelo in what looks like a home banker, Feyenoord travel to Breda for a game that looks like anything but simple. It is likely to be the third blood-and-thunder match in eight days for the Rotterdammers. The advantage is that Feyenoord are unlikely to be as off the pace as they were Wednesday against NEC. The glow of pleasure that surrounded De Kuip after the win against Ajax has been blown right away after the narrow escape in Nijmegen, which once again showed that this Feyenoord team does not have the quality to wing it on half power.
Despite a few players having niggles - including Patrick Lodewijks, who bled profusely after getting a kick above the knee from Niedzielan – and the cancellation of Friday training, Koeman would not appear to have any personnel problems going into the weekend. The coach is likely to begin with the same starting eleven that took the field against NEC. Pascal Bosschaart’s substitution last Wednesday is not expected to have any consequences. ‘Pascal played an unfortunate game and also had a yellow card. That was why it seemed sensible to bring him off,’ commented Koeman.
NAC Breda – Feyenoord
Sunday 12 February 2006 in the Rat Verlegh Stadion
NAC Breda: Schollen; Elshot, Sno, Zwaanswijk, Vidmar; Mendes da Silva, Diba, Petö, Van Gessel; Leonardo, Vonlanthen.
Feyenoord: Lodewijks; Greene, Vlaar, Bahia, Bosschaart; Hofs, Paauwe, De Guzman; Castelen, Kuyt, Kalou.
LAST TEN LEAGUE MEETINGS
14/8/2005 Feyenoord - NAC Breda 2-0
7/11/2004 Feyenoord - NAC Breda 4-0
31/8/2003 Feyenoord - NAC Breda 2-1
2/3/2003 Feyenoord - NAC Breda 2-1
7/4/2002 Feyenoord - NAC Breda 0-0
10/4/2005 NAC Breda - Feyenoord 0-2
4/4/2004 NAC Breda - Feyenoord 0-3
22/12/2002 NAC Breda - Feyenoord 1-1
4/11/2001 NAC Breda - Feyenoord 2-1
8/4/2001 NAC Breda - Feyenoord 1-0