Roger Schmidt spoke to the press at PSV Campus De Herdgang on Friday afternoon ahead of Saturday’s league game at home to FC Twente. PSV’s head coach expects another tough game. “FC Twente are one of the best teams in the domestic league, footballwise. It will be a difficult game, as usual.”
Just before Schmidt started his weekly press briefing it was announced that Ajax and Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana had failed a drug test in October 2020 and has now been banned for a year from all forms of competitive football. “This is remarkable news”, said Schmidt. “But it is hard for me to comment as I don’t know the background.” Ajax are top of the table, seven points above PSV. “We knew at the start of the campaign that we needed a perfect season to play for the prizes, which is hard for a team that needs to be rebuilt. We lost two big games against AZ and Feyenoord in the month of January, while Ajax won all their games and only dropped points in the 2-2 draw against PSV.”
Schmidt told the media that he has analysed the Feyenoord game thoroughly. “We used the match footage to look at every detail and we have come to the conclusion that luck was not on our side. We stuck to our game plan and executed it well, which led to a lot of chances. Even at half time, when we were three goals down, I still thought we could turn things around, but Feyenoord showed great sharpness in front of goal. We conceded two goals through defensive mistakes and were hit on the counter attack once. But you will never concede a goal if you don’t make mistakes. We gave away two goals easily and we know we must improve.”
The squad were given three days off this week to get some fresh energy for the clash with FC Twente. “We needed a break as the games keep coming up. And we need a lot of energy to play FC Twente. They play a high-intensity game and are one of the best teams in the domestic league, footballwise. I think they should have gained more points.” The match comes too early for Cody Gakpo and Mario Götze who are still training individually. They have not returned to full fitness yet and will most likely also be ruled out of the Cup tie against Ajax next Wednesday.