FEYENOORD LOOKING FOR SECOND WIN IN FOUR DAYS

Ruud Gullit will be hoping that Wednesday’s cup victory at Alkmaar is a springboard to further success when he takes his team to Enschede Saturday in the Eredivisie. AZ finished the midweek game with only nine men, but the coach isn’t about to let the critics take the sheen off. ‘Many people didn’t notice that we played well, especially in the first half when it was still eleven against eleven. But my group did notice.’

Ruud Gullit looked back on an eventful win at AZ at the regular Friday
press call. A match the coach feels Feyenoord started well, which
frustrated the home side. ‘They probably thought it would be very easy.
But it didn’t turn out that way, which is maybe why things escalated at
their end. We would have rather finished the match with eleven against
eleven. Everything feels that way. Because in the period that AZ still
didn’t have any red cards we were playing good football. After the red
cards we had to finish it off. We didn’t do it very well at all,
because we should have scored more goals. That’s the only downer of the
whole evening. But in the current situation, in which we’re not having
a lot of success, it’s understandable that the team consolidates at 2-0
ahead.’

The pressure may have been alleviated somewhat after the win against
AZ, although the match against FC Twente is the third in six days, so
tiredness may yet play a role. Then again, Gullit is not so sure that
the heat is off. ‘Yes, a burden has been lifted from our shoulders, but
the pressure hasn’t gone. There’ll always be pressure.’ That is borne
out by the way the side was attacked last week after losing to Vitesse,
despite it being a match in which four players made their Feyenoord
debuts. Gullit the realist knows there’s really only one way to dodge
the critics. ‘The only protection we have is winning,’ acknowledged the
coach.

Against FC Twente that’s a big ask, especially with the absence of a
number of key players. Salomon Kalou is one of them. His groin strain
keeps him out and he’ll be replaced by Danko Lazovic for the second
successive game. Patrick Paauwe has the same injury and he too is out
of the reckoning, while Pascal Bosschaart is a doubt. The left back is
still recovering from an infection in his lower leg. If he doesn’t make
it Bruno Basto is standing by to reprise his role in the win in
Alkmaar, when he added an assist (Dirk Kuyt’s opening strike) to a fine
defensive performance.

The last player who’ll be missing from action is Nicky Hofs, who’s
suspended. Sebastián Pardo is expected to deputise, in a position just
off the front two.


FC TWENTE – FEYENOORD
7.30 pm, Saturday 29 January
Arke Stadium, Enschede
Referee: Vink

PROBABLE LINE-UPS
FC Twente: Boschker; Wellenberg, Majstorovic, Zomer, Heubach; Shoukov,
Culina, Niemeyer; Gakhokidze, N’Kufo, Touma
Feyenoord: Babos; Östlund, Saidi, Gibbs, Basto; Castelen, Ghaly, Pardo,
Goor; Kuyt, Lazovic.

LAST TEN MEETINGS

ARKE STADIUM
4/2/2004 FC Twente-Feyenoord 3-1 (AC)
13/12/2003 FC Twente-Feyenoord 4-2
14/9/2002 FC Twente-Feyenoord 1-5
19/12/2001 FC Twente-Feyenoord 3-2
27/8/2000 FC Twente-Feyenoord 1-2

DE KUIP
12/9/04 Feyenoord-FC Twente 3-1
1/2/04 Feyenoord-FC Twente 3-2
2/2/03 Feyenoord-FC Twente 4-2
24/2/02 Feyenoord-FC Twente 1-2
18/3/01 Feyenoord-FC Twente 5-1

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