‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
<P>Coach Erwin Koeman's Feyenoord won their first preseason friendly by a single goal Monday against Alphense Boys. It could have been a lot more if the Rotterdammers had been more focused in front of goal. Serginho Greene made his debut for Feyenoord in a match that also featured Alfred Schreuder and Ferne Snoyl, who pulled on a Feyenoord jersey for the first time in a year after loan spells away from De Kuip. Flu kept Ali Boussaboun out of the match.
Koeman gave every member of the squad a fair chance in Alphen aan den Rijn, with a different team either side of the break. It was a clear sign by the new coach that he would be making his team selection on merit. 'These guys have the chance to prove themselves, this result obviously does not change that,' repeated Koeman after the match.
There were chances galore in the first period especially, but Koeman's strike force was unable to convert any of them. Nicky Hofs, Romeo Castelen, Danko Lazovic and Salomon Kalou all had several opportunities to open the scoring, but a lack of sharpness meant the match remained goalless until well into the second half. Koeman: 'There were some good things and some bad things. If I had to specify something that didn't go wrong it's the finishing. It was moderate to poor.'
The coach remained calm despite his side's extravagance in front of goal, not unjustifiably bearing in mind the gap between the teams despite the lack of goals. 'Hofs's hunger in particular was positive. He is very hardworking. I also felt Greene played with great motivation, and Schreuder did some good things too. I could mention more guys. It wasn't fantastic but you cannot expect top form after three days of training; that is not realistic. We will certainly need the six weeks until the start of the league.'Hofs finally got the breakthrough on 76 minutes. Bart Goor started the move on the left, before Magrão laid the ball off to Hofs, who smashed the ball into the net.