It’s Willem van Hanegem’s birthday! Today (Wednesday) he celebrates reaching the magnificent age of 75. Management, sup...
Feyenoord’s match at AZ ended 1-1, a result Giovanni van Bronckhorst was fairly happy with. ‘The game could have gone either way, so to my mind a draw is the right result,’ said head coach after the final whistle at the AFAS Stadium.
Feyenoord were under the cosh in the opening stages of the game in Alkmaar and the hosts took an early lead. ‘AZ started brightly and we did not keep hold of the ball,’ said Van Bronckhorst. ‘That was clear in the situation prior to the first goal and AZ have players that can punish that. Were we surprised by how they played? No, we knew it would be a hard system to play against.’
A tactical rejig allowed Feyenoord to get a better grip on their opponents. ‘We opted to get Tyrell Malacia to mark the player in behind and that helped us regain control’, said Van Bronckhorst. In the end, his team were unable to add to Steven Berghuis’s equaliser. ‘AZ created more chances from open play, whereas we were dangerous from set plays. The right result.’
Van Bronckhorst brought on Nicolai Jørgensen late on, ending the Dane’s injury misery, which has kept him out since the World Cup. The striker replaced Robin van Persie. Playing the two alongside each other was not an option for the coach on the day. ‘I also look our presence in midfield. We wanted to keep the game neutral. I’m happy Nicolai is back; it’s important for the team. He is getting stronger all the time.’