Barely 48 hours after the 2-2 draw with Ajax, PSV head coach Roger Schmidt looked ahead in the PSV Campus De Herdgang pressroom on Tuesday morning to Wednesday’s big game at home to AZ. Schmidt did not only look forward but also made time to look back at Sunday’s entertaining match in the Johan Cruijff ArenA.
Schmidt was asked if his players were not too happy with the point from the Ajax game. The German manager played down this statement and backed his players. “There’s no doubt in my mind that all of the players are always eager to win games”, he said. But he went on to explain that his players were satisfied with the 2-2 draw, as it was a fair overall reflection of the game. “We are keen and eager to win games. I set high standards and hope we will reach our full potential soon. I am absolutely convinced that we can still improve. We may show it in the home game to Ajax at the end of February.”
Malen and strike partner Zahavi
Schmidt was pleased that Eran Zahavi showed his skills against Ajax, after a stuttering start to the new season. “This was the perfect start in 2021 for Eran. I am really pleased he has built a good partnership with fellow striker Donyell Malen in our forward line. He scored two great goals and Malen teed up twice Zahavi who slotted home.” Schmidt feels that PSV will have gained confidence from the good spells in the first half, but admitted that his team was outplayed at times after the break.
Götze absent, Gakpo doubtful
PSV will be without Mario Götze against AZ. The German playmaker will be out for at least two weeks, following an MRI scan. Cody Gakpo is doubtful for Wednesday’s game but other than that Schmidt has again a full-strength squad to select from. It will be a different game than last Sunday’s, thinks Schmidt. “Each game is different but I know for sure we’ll face another stern test. AZ have a lot of quality of players and slipped to just one defeat so far this season. We expect AZ will be at their best.” Schmidt looks to take advantage of AZ’s qualities. “Matches like this help you to develop and grow as a team. We feel confident and are ready to take them on. This is another chance to show we are willing to compete for the title”, concluded Schmidt.