Van Bronckhorst: ‘Drop-off after good start too big’

Giovanni van Bronckhorst was the first to admit post-match at De Kuip on Sunday that his Feyenoord side was not good enough against FC Groningen. Feyenoord did start well, scoring an early goal that proved enough for the victory. ‘The second half was the least good half of the season,’ said the coach.

After a deserved early goal by Jens Toornstra, the home crowd thought they were in for an entertaining afternoon. Feyenoord looked fit and were playing strongly, which suggested more goals were on the way. ‘The start was exactly what we wanted and in line with the most recent matches. We should have wrapped it up then,’ said Van Bronckhorst, who described Toornstra’s strike as ‘a textbook goal’.

But Feyenoord were unable to maintain the standard they had put down in the opening 20 minutes, so the nerves remained throughout the match. ‘It was very mediocre,’ admitted Van Bronckhorst, whose side found it especially tough after the break. ‘I think the second half was the least good half of this season. We were sloppy and gave the ball away a lot. There cannot be that big a big drop-off after such a strong start.’ 

In spite of a lack of fluidity in Feyenoord’s play, the hosts were able to protect their lead, which means they could go into the winter break with maximum points from seven home matches. ‘But it’s obvious that we will have to be better next week against PSV. If we want to have any role of significance in this league, we have to win. But for that we will have to be at the top of our game for 90 minutes,’ said Van Bronckhorst.

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