It’s Willem van Hanegem’s birthday! Today (Wednesday) he celebrates reaching the magnificent age of 75. Management, sup...
After three tough fixtures, on paper Feyenoord would appear to be up for a less taxing test Sunday at De Kuip when bottom-placed FC Volendam visit. With four games left to play the opportunities to overhaul PSV in second place and gain a ticket to the Champions League qualifiers are dwindling fast. ‘Realistically. PSV won’t drop any more points. But we have to keep winning ourselves so that we aren’t left pointing the finger at ourselves afterwards,’ stressed Van Marwijk.
Whichever way you look at it FC Volendam should not leave De Kuip Sunday afternoon with three points. Broadly speaking, coach Van Marwijk will be able to rely on the same team that has gone nine games unbeaten. The suspended Patrick Paauwe is the only absentee. ‘Alfred Schreuder is an option to replace him,’ confirmed Van Marwijk. ‘He brings more in footballing terms than Chris Gyan, but I haven’t made up my mind.’
More firm is Robin van Persie’s continued bench-sitting role. The youngster was warming up within half an hour last week at FC Utrecht, but more conviction from those on the field of play meant he wasn’t needed until late on. ‘I told Smolarek and Lurling at half time that they had to improve. They did so by scoring twice in ten minutes. Bearing in mind I have to keep someone in reserve in case they did not improve I had Van Persie warm up. Obviously I could have told him to sit back down, but he’d had such a frustrating week I wanted to reward him.’
Edwin Zoetebier retains the keeper’s jersey against his hometown club. Coach Van Marwijk is very happy with the performances of the man who has had to deputise between the sticks since the loss of Patrick Lodewijks to injury. ‘The opinion I have always had has been confirmed during the past few weeks: he is a very good keeper. Edwin is now relaxed and playing well again in goal.’
HOLLAND CASINO EREDIVISIE, SUNDAY 25 APRIL 2004
Venue: De Kuip
Probable Feyenoord team
Zoetebier; Song, Van den Berg, Schreuder, Mtiliga; Smolarek, Ono, Ghaly, Lurling; Buffel, Kuyt.