Van Bronckhorst ‘proud of the team’

Feyenoord lost their fifth match in succession in Champions League Group F on Tuesday evening. But head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst took satisfaction from the narrow 1-0 defeat against an otherwise free-scoring Manchester City.

The visitors were beaten by a last minute strike at the Etihad, but the Feyenoord coach was upbeat after the final whistle. ‘I’m very proud of the team,’ said Van Bronckhorst. We played a lot better than in the first match against City (0-4, ed.) and we showed that we have made good progress in the Champions League. It was a bitter pill to concede just before the end. We deserved more and of course it’s disappointing, also because we are out of Europe. But on the whole I’m once again satisfied with the way my players represented Feyenoord today.’

Van Bronckhorst felt his men did their jobs well against the Premier League leaders. ‘Going into tackles, the tempo on the ball, playing compact; we did that all outstandingly,’ said the head coach, who observed that his team retained a high level of concentration throughout virtually the whole match. ‘Except for the goal, where we decided to take a step forward. The Champions League is about making the right decisions for 90 minutes. If you’re not sharp for one moment, a team of the calibre of Manchester City will score.’

Feyenoord also had a couple of good opportunities to grab a goal of their own, as has been the case in all their matches in recent weeks. ‘We really could have scored here,’ confirmed Van Bronckhorst, who saw Steven Berghuis miss the biggest chance on the hour mark. ‘He struck it well, but unfortunately the ball went straight towards the keeper. It gives us confidence, being able to create chances against City. We have to take that with us on Saturday, when we go to Groningen. We have to play there the same as we have today, but then take out chances.’

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