Feyenoord will have to be at their best to see off Roda JC in Sunday’s Eredivisie match-up at De Kuip. Erwin Koeman feels that victory will only be possible if his team ‘puts in 100% effort’. The fact the Sunday’s opponents are in the wrong half of the table doesn’t really have any bearing for the coach. ‘With two wins they will be back in a European place, so that does not mean anything.’ Feyenoord won the corresponding away fixture 3-2, but lost to Roda JC in the cup only last month.

Feyenoord got their maiden victory in the Gelredome stadium last week and that triumph and the great last week of December mean there is a good feel around De Kuip right now. But there have been enough false dawns for Erwin Koeman to remain cool. And while he is pleased with recent results, the coach just doesn’t have it in him to shout it from the rooftops. ‘Obviously we have improved compared with the first training session on 2 July, that’s certainly positive. But it’s not in my makeup to get up on the table when things are going well. It only needs to go the other way and the confidence is gone. Three months later it’s hallelujah again and people are talking about the title. That’s the great thing about the sport. It’s just that I don’t get involved in that, because I think the best thing is to stay calm and not allow yourself to be swayed by the feeling of the day, also for the lads, not in good times and not in bad times. At Vitesse we showed that we have taken a step forward. Now it’s a matter of being ready for Roda JC on Sunday.’

Koeman served up a pretty clear answer when asked to confirm that Feyenoord wanted to clear out a whopping thirty players by next term. ‘It’s not keeping me awake. I don’t look at the number; I don’t feel that’s important. For me it’s about Feyenoord getting a team that is always playing for prizes. That will obviously be at the expense of a number of players. But I cannot say how many that will be. It doesn’t help me much that people are talking about numbers like that.’

Two players who have been mentioned are Karim Saidi and Alexander Östlund. ‘They will both be allowed to leave,’ said Koeman. ‘It is a shame for Karim and for Feyenoord that he cannot play in the African Cup of Nations due to injury. I emphasise with the lad. The World Cup is on its way and he won’t get a lot of games here. It would be better for him if he was playing somewhere else. The same goes for Östlund. He also has a World Cup ahead of him and he could find himself not selected if he does not play here. I respect that lad, because he has always given his all. I have spoken with him about his situation twice. That kind of talk isn’t always pleasant, but I am always clear. Football can be hard, you can see that in Alexander’s case now.’

Romeo Castelen returns to the squad Sunday after making a full recovery from a hamstring injury. The outside right played a full half for the reserves Thursday. Nicky Hofs is also in the squad and he’ll be hoping that the coach gives him a place in the first eleven after sitting out last week’s win at Vitesse. Erwin Koeman is certainly considering playing either Hofs or Castelen. ‘I’m not ruling out one of the two starting.’ Roda play with two men upfront, so the coach is likely to start with Serginho Greene, Ron Vlaar and André Bahia at the back.

Feyenoord – Roda JC
Sunday 22 January 2006, 14:30 at De Kuip
Referee: Luinge

Feyenoord: Lodewijks; Greene, Vlaar, Bahia; Hofs, Paauwe, De Guzman, Pardo; Biseswar (Castelen), Kuyt, Kalou.
Roda JC: Kujovic; Senden, Kah, Vicelich, Lachambre: Van Dijk, Cziommer, Sergio, Bodor: Cissé, Oper.


13/3/2005 Feyenoord – Roda JC 4-1
28/3/2004 Feyenoord – Roda JC 3-0
29/5/2003 Feyenoord – Roda JC 3-1
3/2/2002 Feyenoord – Roda JC 5-0
5/11/2000 Feyenoord – Roda JC 4-2

20/11/2005 Roda JC – Feyenoord 2-3
17/10/2004 Roda JC – Feyenoord 0-2
19/10/2003 Roda JC – Feyenoord 1-1
24/8/2002 Roda JC – Feyenoord 2-2
22/8/2001 Roda JC – Feyenoord 0-2

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