PSV head coach Roger Schmidt accompanied by forward Donyell Malen were quite clear at the press briefing on Wednesday afternoon ahead of Thursday’s UEFA Europa clash at home to PAOK: “We need a win”.
‘Things are still in our own hands’
Malen knows only a win will do to boost PSV’s prospects of reaching the next round of the UEFA Europa League. PSV are third in Group E with three points from three games. ”It’s a vital and pivotal match for us and we know what we have to do”, said Malen. Schmidt shared his forward’s views. “With three remaining games, things are still in our own hands. Our mission is simple: win all three games. We feel the pressure but are anxious to show on Thursday we want to get through to the next round.”
PSV will be without Götze
PSV will be without Ryan Thomas and Mario Götze. The German star has become a first-team regular but Schmidt is convinced that PSV can still get a result without Mario. “We proved it on Sunday. Of course we will miss Mario. He shows a lot of movement between the lines and is important in our transition play. We dominated Sunday’s game for sixty minutes but that penalty turned the game upside down and FC Twente started to take control. That’s football. We have plenty of quality and should have killed the game off. They need the support of their fellow strikers and help each other score goals. I am sure they will show sharpness in front of goal shortly.”
Malen was asked why PSV were not at it in the second half. “It’s hard to explain. We saw the game change. We got more tired as we had to cover longer distances. We left too much space between the lines”, said Malen, who also admitted that PSV’s attackers should have made better choices. “We were a little selfish at times but I don’t think we are egoistic and arrogant. We have talked things over and will try to do better next time.”