Van Bronckhorst: ‘We believe’

Feyenoord need to go into Sunday’s Klassieker focusing on their own strengths and believing in a good result. That was Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s take-home message from the Friday press conference at De Kuip.

Feyenoord’s most recent victory in Amsterdam came 13 years ago. That prompted one person in the room to ask whether there was any anxiety in the Rotterdam camp ahead of the latest match against Ajax. ‘Never,’ answered the head coach. ‘Ajax are vey good opponents, a team in form, too. You see that in the league and in the Champions League. But they also have weaknesses. It’s our job to capitalise on them. Recognising phases where you can do that and acting accordingly, that will be very important on Sunday.’

Feyenoord have another two days to prepare. Putting all the plans, tactics, formation and playing style to one side, Van Bronckhorst gives particular importance to the attitude his team have on the day. ‘We need to believe it ourselves and play to our own strengths. And we have that belief. We have the drive and the intention to take points.’

A win in Amsterdam would propel Feyenoord above Ajax in the table. ‘That makes it a very important match for both sides, also bearing in mind the gap to PSV,’ says Van Bronckhorst. ‘In that sense Sunday is about staying in touch or dropping away, just as much for Ajax.’

Van Bronckhorst ended the press conference  with praise for Jordy Clasie, who crowned his strong performance last week with a goal. ‘Jordy is getting stronger and stronger, among other things you see it in how he is there for the team. He needed time, but that wasn’t so strange after so much time on the sidelines. The same was true of Steven Berghuis and Kevin Diks, say, in their first period at Feyenoord. Jordy can only become more important for us.’

Feyenoord Business CLub