Ernest Faber keeps his cards close

Ernest Faber keeps his cards close

After fielding the same team for several weeks on end, PSV interim head coach Ernest Faber is forced to make at least one change when his side face FC Groningen on Sunday afternoon at 16.45. Cody Gakpo serves a one-match suspension, which may give Noni Madueke, Bruma or Ritsu Doan and opportunity to shine. Keeping his cards close, Faber will not reveal until Sunday who will deputise for Gakpo.

“Some boys are close to being handed a start, which I like a lot now that Cody Gakpo will miss Sunday’s game”, said Faber during his weekly press briefing on Friday afternoon. One of the candidates to replace Gakpo is Bruma. The Portuguese winger joined PSV in the summer of 2019 but has not become a first-team regular. Faber: “Bruma is inspirational with his energy and enthusiasm and he is well-liked by his team mates. He needs to score some more goals and as an experienced player he can be more decisive. He should help his team mates to take the next step. He works hard in training but there is always room for improvement. The ball is now in his court. It’s up to him to show his skills in matches. Everybody at the club, obviously including the coaching staff, is willing to help him where we can.”

Faber continued to give his views on Ritsu Doan. The Japanese made a move to PSV from FC Groningen of all clubs, but he has not developed into an established first-team player, either. “He is a different kind of player and he will certainly get his chances”, explained Faber. “We have several options and Ritsu consequently must remain patient. It is a big step to make from Groningen to PSV. He will be given time and I do my best to convince him he should take that time to fully adapt himself. He is making progress and he must take his chance when opportunity knocks.”

Familiar surroundings
Gakpo Noni Madueke could be a third option to replace Gakpo as the promising English youngster has not been called up to the PSV U21 match squad this weekend. Faber will return to familiar surroundings on Sunday. PSV’s interim head coach spent two seasons with FC Groningen as head coach. “I know the club, the officials, some of their players and the club’s philosophy. A number of youngsters have meanwhile made their first-team debut.”

Faber wants PSV to focus on themselves. “If the results get better, it will become quieter. We see it as a challenge to achieve results and it won’t help to look at other clubs. We have gone through a deep valley but I am happy with the atmosphere at PSV. The egos are slowly disappearing into the background. Players now unconditionally accept one another and use each other’s qualities. Before the Willem II game we looked each other in the eye and promised to stop the rot and win games and that’s what you see back on the pitch” concluded Faber.