PSV management totally surprised by departure of Van Nistelrooij: ‘He was very resolute’

PSV management totally surprised by departure of Van Nistelrooij: ‘He was very resolute’
Earnest Stewart and Marcel Brands

NOS Football

The PSV management was totally surprised this morning by the departure of coach Ruud van Nistelrooij. This was told by general manager Marcel Brands and technical director Earnest Stewart during an inserted press conference.

During the press conference it also became clear that Fred Rutten has previously indicated he will quit as assistant coach after this season. It was already known that André Ooijer, the other assistant, would leave PSV after the season.

Van Nistelrooij lacked confidence at PSV: ‘He was firm in his decision’

The fact that both assistant coaches did not want to continue alongside Van Nistelrooij was a signal that there were problems within the staff, according to Brands. There were also signals from the player group, the two directors explained at the press conference.

And all during the crucial final phase of the season. PSV could have secured second place in the premier league – and with it Champions League soccer – against sc Heerenveen last Sunday, but drew 3-3. The Eindhovenites must now take a point at AZ on Sunday on the final day to finish second.

‘Tension within the staff’

Brands said there have been a number of talks with Van Nistelrooij in recent weeks, following the announced departures of Ooijer and Rutten and signals from the player group.

“The players did not complain, but were concerned about the departure of other staff members. They saw tension within the staff,” said Brands, who advised the players to discuss it with the coach himself. “That happened and feedback to us followed.”

Last night Brands and Stewart had another conversation with Van Nistelrooij. “In our eyes that was a good conversation. The conclusion was that we would address the player group together today, so that the full focus would be on the match against AZ. And that the problems were for after the season and what solutions we could find then.”

Disbelief at PSV: ‘Van Nistelrooij surprised with announcement that he would quit’

But this morning Van Nistelrooij visited Stewart anyway. “Ruud surprised me with the message that he would stop immediately. Very annoying and very surprising after last night. He was very determined and very resolute.”

No support

What exactly happened since last night, Brands and Stewart do not know. “He no longer felt support,” Stewart said.

It is a feeling the PSV management does not share. “I cannot imagine that Ruud ever had the feeling that we as management were not behind him,” Brands said. “Nobody within the club spent even a second on the idea of not continuing with Ruud.”

Rutten will take over Van Nistelrooij’s duties against AZ on Sunday.

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Kayleigh Williams