Roger Schmidt met the media on Friday afternoon ahead of Sunday’s game at home to ADO Den Haag. PSV’s head coach spoke about the difficulties of managing with Covid-19 issues. One day after guiding his team to a late 2-1 win over Omonia Nicosia, Schmidt admitted that these are difficult times. “But I can’t keep on discussing the coronavirus issues all the time.”
Schmidt missed eleven players the last two games, mainly due to COVID-19. Nick Viergever became the latest victim of PSV’s mounting virus problems. Just one first-team player was on the bench in Cyprus and he was hardly fit enough to play, explained Schmidt. “The lads came through the game unscathed but feel obviously tired. We’re waiting for the test results on Saturday evening. When the players who were absent in Cyprus test negative, they may be called up to the match squad, although they didn’t train with their team mates. As long as they feel they’re ready for the challenge. Unfortunately we can’t assess the situation until Sunday”, said Schmidt.
KNVB does not comply with PSV’s request
PSV General Manager Toon Gerbrands indicated earlier on Friday that PSV had asked the KNVB to postpone the match against ADO Den Haag to boost their PAOK preparations. AZ and Ajax submitted similar requests last season and the Dutch FA complied with them. PSV, however, received a negative response. “We had only one first-team regular on the bench in Cyprus. We’ll travel to Greece to face PAOK in a crucial UEFA Europa league fixture and had hoped to move the game against ADO Den Haag to a later date. The KNVB was not impressed and rejected our request. I don’t understand why not”, said Gerbrands.
Schmidt told the media he accepted the situation and looked to move on. “It would have been better for us to have more time to recover, but we just have to make the most of it”, said Schmidt. “When you play in a European competition, you know you will face a hectic schedule. But this is different because we miss a great number of players who have tested positive for coronavirus. It’s tough but we have to look at the players we have available.”
‘We showed character’
Beating Omonia Nicosia gave Schmidt a big boost. He saw his team put in a fine display, in particular during the last 30 minutes of the game. “It’s been a tough game, but we showed character and fought till the end. I am proud of the team and I believe in our style of play. We were rewarded for our resilience with a late goal. It was not a lucky goal at all; Malen was at the end of a well-worked move”, Schmidt who looked to build on the momentum of the victory. “It’s an important game for us. The players will have to recover from the physical exertions and we will do our very best to get a result on Sunday.”