Stunt ‘wonderful’, but Advocaat does not choose strongest eleven with ADO against PSV
“A wonderful performance by Spakenburg. And bad from FC Utrecht, of course.” Dick Advocaat had not seen the amateur club’s cup stunt Tuesday night coming either.
Today the 75-year-old coach himself hopes to provide a new cup surprise. His ADO Den Haag will visit PSV in the quarter-finals. Although, the cup is not a priority for his team at the moment.
“We play five games in fifteen days, three of which are away. An awful lot. And the stakes are clear: for us they are in the league and not in the cup,” Advocaat said.
Not the strongest eleven
He will therefore not field his strongest eleven against PSV. “Other guys have to step up, because I will probably save players. But fortunately we have a wide selection.”
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About his lineup, the experienced coach did not want to reveal anything. But chances are he will keep some important players on the sidelines. “We have a good medical staff, which knows exactly how the players are doing,” he said.
Advocaat is also moving with the times. “You used to determine with your own eyes who was tired and who wasn’t. Now we have data available to see when it becomes too much for a player and we better take him out.”
The next four league matches are more important for coach. In those, he wants ADO to take a step toward participation in the playoffs for promotion to the premier league. His team is currently at the top of the third period and is also approaching the left row.
Eleven duels unbeaten
Advocaat has got ADO back on track, after the team started the season dramatically under his sacked predecessor Dirk Kuijt. The Hague formation is already unbeaten eleven duels.
“But it will be very difficult against PSV,” Advocaat tempered expectations. “They have a better team and better players. For ADO in the current situation it’s just wonderful to be able to play there.”
Above all, the players should enjoy themselves. And secretly hope for a stunt, of course. “You can say: we are going to disrupt early there and pin PSV on their own half, but of course they are far too strong for that,” Advocaat knows. “We have to sit back and try to become dangerous on the counter. I wouldn’t know how else to do it.”