‘Very positive,’ was how Bert van Marwijk’s described Tuesday’s 3-1 friendly win against 1. FC Kaiserslautern. ‘If you compare this to how we were last year, it’s a world of difference.’ The trainer had clearly enjoyed the win and more importantly the way in which it was achieved, after only three days of training. ‘Obviously, you cannot say things are improving after only one game, but I do have a strong feeling that the group is in a better position.’

We won tonight against a top German outfit, while we have hardly trained. That gives you confidence and it is nice to reap the rewards of hard work. On top of that, the lads has proven that they can play the physical game against the big German guys and that is something I like to see.’ Bert van Marwijk was pleased with all of his players. but he did single out Civard Sprockel and Johan Elmander for special praise. The Swede went into the game not hundred percent fit. ‘When you see him play like he did tonight, I wouldn’t mind if he was always carrying a slight injury. He played very well and finally made good use of all his qualities. You see how lightning fast he is. I think we are improving up front all the time. If that final pass and the goal return improve, I’ll be completely satisfied.’ The trainer was clearly content with Patrick Paauwe. ‘Patrick is naturally one of the best left-sided central defenders in Holland, as he is one of the best midfielders in Holland. He is doing well. What’s more, Van Wonderen is at home in midfield and Ono is also starting to play better and more assertive. Paul (Bosvelt) will be back soon and then we will finally have a luxury problem. After today I have few wishes.’
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