‘We want to do it ourselves at De Kuip’
Slot ahead of championship match against Go Ahead: “Very special”
Feyenoord coach Arne Slot is looking forward to next Sunday, when Feyenoord can clinch their 16th national title with a win at home against Go Ahead Eagles. As a player, he experienced two championship games in the first division, with PEC Zwolle.
Slot: “As a player, I experienced those matches as incredibly beautiful. But as a trainer you have less influence, then you are no longer on the field.” Slot has an almost fit selection at his disposal, the only disappointment being the absence of Gernot Trauner. “But Pedersen and Geetruida can solve that excellently.”
Slot is not going to approach the possible championship match differently than other matches: “We just trained for Go Ahead Eagles. And watched footage to prepare optimally.”
That it will still be exciting for “his” players, he has no doubt. “But that’s the case everywhere. Eagles can still make the playoffs for European soccer. And with relegation candidates Emmen and Volendam it might be even more exciting.”
“And the Conference League final last year was also exciting. That’s always the case in the final phase, but that doesn’t mean you immediately do other things on the training field. If it does, I have to intervene, but we trained well and fanatically,” Slot said.
Still, he admits it is not “business as usual”: “The preparation is. But the match is more special. Also happens to be my 100th as coach, but this is special at all. Wonderful that we are now about to play a championship game.”
Slot is looking forward to Sunday: “There will undoubtedly be a great atmosphere in De Kuip. But that is more often the case. Hopefully it will stay that way before and during the match, even if we have a lesser phase. That the supporters continue to support us then. Because we desperately need that. As long as it’s not done, we can’t make an advance, but we’re in good shape.”
Even if Feyenoord do not win, there is still a chance for the national title on Sunday. If PSV does not win against Fortuna Sittard, the Rotterdammers will still be champions. That match does not start until 8 p.m. Sunday evening. For Slot, the championship is ultimately the most important thing, but, “We want to do it incredibly well ourselves in De Kuip.”