‘GOOD TO SEE THAT THE TEAM FORMS A STRONG UNIT’

Erwin Koeman was a satisfied man after his side swept away Nacional, despite a mass brawl. ‘Let me start by saying that sort of thing does not belong on a football pitch. But I felt it was good to see that my team reacted attentively and formed a strong unit. Otherwise it doesn’t really bother me. I’ve experienced this type of thing as a player too. When you score two in three minutes against South Americans you can almost guarantee it.’

The game came off the rails when Hossam Ghaly was kicked on the ground. ‘It was a ridiculous act,’ said Koeman, who had warned of the Uruguayans’ tough demeanour in the run-up to the game. ‘But I also said that they shouldn’t pull out of a tackle and they didn’t. I know now that this group stands up for each other in hard times and that is a nice thing to find out.’ 

Koeman also felt that his side tried to play well. ‘We played good football now and again. The first half hour we played in position and waited patiently for the space to open up. It was just in the last quarter of an hour that we were a bit sloppy and conceded possession too much. And after the break we made six chances in fifteen minutes, which says enough.’ 

It has been a tiring trip for Feyenoord, but Koeman is satisfied with what he’s been seeing. ‘Given the conditions I think we have had a good training camp. It just took a real long time to get acclimatise.

I’ve noticed that the players are beginning to get used to it now, but we’re going home on Sunday. We’ll just have to see how we react to this week. It has been an assault on the body, but we may have laid the foundations for the league season here. We’ll have to wait and see.’

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