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‘Marsman save the game for us’

Nick Marsman’s outstanding performance in his first Eredivisie start against PEC Zwolle on Sunday earned praise for the keeper from Dick Advocaat, whose assessment was clear: ‘He saved the game for us.’

Advocaat’s compliment also said plenty about the performance of the whole team. Feyenoord played very well in the first half, taking a 1-0 lead, but kind of lost their way after the break. ‘The first half was clearly ours,’ begun Advocaat speaking post-match. 

‘There were some wonderful attacking moves, we controlled the match. We could not maintain the high pace. That is only to be expected to some extent, because we had to take it to the limit last Thursday against Rangers. But in that case, you sometimes have to slow things down and choose your times.’

Feyenoord didn’t do that, which allowed PEC Zwolle to grow into the game. ‘I felt we gave the ball away much too quickly and too often. Why do you always have to go forward?’ wondered Advocaat. ‘We can also be dangerous on the counter. It would be different if were 3-0 up after a good first half. Then you can determine the pace. Now we wanted to get the second goal and we made it tougher for ourselves.’

Advocaat counted his blessings and welcomed the three points that the single-goal victory brought. Considering the situation he found the club in when he joined – ‘We were playing catch-up’ – the head coach continued: ‘We have to win games against this this type of opponent, so I’m happy we have done so.’