‘We had to bin the plan early on,’ says coach

Giovanni van Bronckhorst had worked out a detailed plan to handle Ajax in the Klassieker on their own turf. But Jeremiah St. Juste was red-carded five minutes in. ‘Then our plans, which we all felt good about, had to be binned,’ said a disappointed head coach post match.

Part of the plan was to take the game to Ajax from the off. ‘And we started well, how strange it might sound. We had control, until the red card,’ said Van Bronckhorst, who saw referee Bjorn Kuipers change his mind after studying video footage of the incident, turning yellow into red.

Van Bronckhorst had this to say about the sending off: ‘In top matches you need passion, but it’s also important  to keep eleven men on the pitch. That means you have to play with healthy aggression and sense and we hammered on about that before the match. With his foul Jeremiah takes a big risk and that red card obviously has a big impact on the match. I do blame him for that.’

Ten Feyenoord players did their best to make a fist of it, but Ajax took a commanding position with two goals before the break. ‘In the second half we gave little away and we really played and fought as a team’, said Van Bronckhorst. ‘We put everything into it, but it is especially a shame that it never really got to be a competitive game.’

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