PSV head coach Roger Schmidt spoke to the press on Friday afternoon ahead of Sunday’s trip to FC Groningen. He expects a tough encounter as the Eredivisie returns to action after the winter break. “’FC Groningen are a tough side to beat and we know it will be a close game but we look to take the three points”, said Schmidt at his weekly press briefing.
In a positive mood
PSV’s head coach was in a positive mood when he reviewed the first half of the Eredivisie season. ”We are a strong team and it’s no coincidence we’re top of the league”, said Schmidt. "We create chances and also find the back of the net against tough opposition. And we have improved defensively in the past few games. We've conceded fewer goals and I am pleased to see the steps that our players are making in their development.”
PSV face a tough schedule in the first month of the new year, taking on Ajax, AZ, Vitesse and Maccabi Tel Aviv, respectively. “But our main priority right now is winning the first game, away from home to FC Groningen. It is the first hurdle we will have to take and we will see what happens next”, said Schmidt
New signing Joey Veerman may play his first minutes in a PSV shirt on Sunday. The midfielder joined PSV from sc Heerenveen a week ago and has been called up to the match squad. “We are confident he will bolster our midfield options, now that Ibrahim Sangaré is away on international duty with the Ivory Coast to compete in the Africa Cup. Joey Veerman has great potential and was the right man to sign”, said Schmidt.
Schmidt also provided an injury update. “Ryan Thomas, Eran Zahavi, Noni Madueke and André Ramalho will not be available Sangaré will not be available for Sunday’s clash in Groningen. Ramalho faces a long spell on the sidelines, but fortunately we have Jordan Teze and Armando Obispo who can deputise for him. Depth squad is paramount for a team to remain competitive in various tournaments and we are happy we have some talented players who can replace our key men.”