PSV captain Luuk de Jong was singled out for praise by head coach Phillip Cocu for leading his team to a 2-0 victory against Willem II, when they were down to ten men. “He set an example to the other players”, said Cocu at the post-match conference.
Phillip Cocu’s post-match reaction
Cocu told the media at the post-conference that his team had played at an unusual slow tempo after dominating the opening stages of the game. “We started brightly and fresh but lost control after some fifteen minutes”, said Cocu. “Strangely enough, I think the red card shown to Arias was for us the turning point of the match. We have managed well to cope with ten men this season before. It is important to be well-organised when you are down to ten men. We were deserved winners in the end, I think.
‘De Jong stood up’
De Jong was outstanding, thought Cocu. “As the season comes to a thrilling end, it is down to the big players to stand up and that’s what our captain did. He has lead his team to victory. You can never blame him for a lack of work ethic, but today he has surpassed all expectations. He set an example to the other players.”
Jurgen Streppel upset by red card
Willem II boss Jurgen Streppel also thought the red card was the turning point of the match. “Things seemed to go our way but then Arias was sent off for a second yellow card by referee Nijhuis and PSV immediately upped a gear. We left spaces at the back and PSV exploited them well. I cannot maintain that PSV’s victory was not deserved. We may have been too much focused on pulling off a shock result”, Streppel sighed.