Rutten sees ‘a lot of disappointment’ among PSV players after Van Nistelrooij departure
“I understand thunderfully that there are a lot of questions, but I hope for understanding that I can’t go into that in depth,” Rutten, who takes over from Van Nistelrooij for the final premier league match of the season, told The Associated Press.
Rutten on Van Nistelrooij’s departure: ‘It hit like a bomb’
Tensions had arisen within PSV’s technical staff in recent weeks and Rutten and his fellow assistant André Ooijer had already announced that they would leave after this season. Rutten nevertheless called the cooperation with Van Nistelrooij “good”. When asked when there would be a hitch, he did not elaborate.
Contact with Van Nistelrooij
“That is irrelevant now, because we have to perform against AZ on Sunday. I want to keep my focus on that. I know the mechanisms. If I answer it now, that’s the theme. And the theme, in my opinion, is not Fred Rutten. The theme is how we are going to conquer AZ on Sunday,” said Rutten, who did express sympathy with Van Nistelrooij.
“I didn’t speak to him, but I did speak to him through the app. I have also been in that situation. I know how you feel as a human being then. And I also know that you have little desire to speak to anyone then.”
PSV needs one point in Sunday’s away match against AZ to be assured of second place and the preliminary rounds of the Champions League. If the Eindhoveners are defeated, Ajax, if it wins Sunday against FC Twente, can still pass PSV.
Van Nistelrooij first briefed technical director Earnest Stewart on his departure Wednesday morning and immediately after that the players and staff. Rutten, like the PSV management, was totally surprised. “It came in like a bomb, I didn’t see it coming at all. If I had felt it, I would have tried to convince him not to do it.”
The interim coach has had many conversations with the player group since Wednesday. Of discord within the selection he has not noticed anything.
Rutten on PSV selection: ‘Young players do need an arm around them’
“There was a lot of disappointment, it’s not just anything either. The selection consists of mature players, but also many young players who are experiencing this for the first time. Those do need an arm around them then.”
The 60-year-old coach suspects that Sunday will be his last time on the bench on behalf of PSV. “In soccer land, anything is possible, but I assume this will be my last match as coach of PSV,” he said.