‘I expect a hot night out’

‘I expect a hot night out’

NOS Football

Ruud van Nistelrooij did not smile. The PSV coach wanted to convey at his press conference today that he takes the Spakenburg amateurs as an opponent in the Cup semifinals very seriously.

“I approach the match as we always do. Whether it’s the Champions League, Europa League, or a topper in the premier league,” Van Nistelrooij said with a serious face. “The semifinal of cup is always a top match. Always. Against whoever you play, wherever it is.”

Tuesday night the great PSV plays against the number ten of the Second Division. There will be 6,000 spectators at Sportpark De Westmaat on the banks of Lake Eemmeer.

“I expect a hot night,” PSV’s coach glanced ahead. “Spakenburg will obviously be motivated to the bone. That’s part of the cup semifinals. We will see two teams giving everything they have in them.”

Extra stands built in Spakenburg for duel with PSV

Spakenburg is experiencing a dream season in the cup. The club from the fishing village wrote a piece of soccer history by becoming the third amateur club in history to reach the semi-finals. Among others, FC Groningen (2-3) and FC Utrecht (1-4) were beaten.

“Spakenburg is in the semifinals for a reason,” Van Nistelrooij said. “They have caught two premier league teams in away matches and scored as many as seven goals. Just respect for that.”

Sharpness, focus, aggressiveness

Van Nistelrooij wants to leave nothing to chance. PSV’s staff with video analyst John Feskens visited several of Spakenburg’s duels to survey the opponent.

“I think it’s important that we prepare like we always do. We made a tactical analysis of the opponent as always and we know what the complex there looks like and what kind of pitch we play on.”

During his press conference, PSV’s coach kept repeating the same three words: sharpness, focus and aggressiveness. “That has to splash off tomorrow. That’s what I expect to see from my squad from the start.”

“We only want one thing and that is to reach the final. Last year PSV won the cup, the players know what that triggered then. It was great to take the cup.”

PSV experienced a fine dress rehearsal on Saturday, scoring a convincing 2-4 win on visit to NEC. Because Ajax lost points, the battle for second place is completely open. But Van Nistelrooij did not want to look ahead to that today. “I only think about the cup. Tomorrow, Spakenburg,” he spoke gruffly.

4-0 against Alcorcon

Van Nistelrooij became even more terse when a game from the past came up. In 2009, he and Real Madrid were eliminated in the cup by a third-tier club, Alcorcon. They lost 4-0 away and the return at the Bernabéu yielded only a 1-0 victory.

“No, I don’t remember anything about it. Completely disappeared from my memory. Spakenburg, that’s what I’m doing,” the coach spoke resolutely. If there was laughter in the press room, Van Nistelrooij still had to smile for a moment.

Van Nistelrooij was eliminated with Real Madrid by tiny Alcorcon in 2009

Kayleigh Williams