PSV head coach Mark van Bommel was full of praise for goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet and midfielder Mohamed Ihattaren who played a crucial role in the 3-2 victory against Sporting in the UEFA Europa League Group D opener.
The PSV fans paid an emotional tribute to Fernando Ricksen. Into the 43rd minute, they started to clap in honour of Van Bommel’s former team-mate who passed away this week aged 43 after a battle with motor neurone disease. “The PSV supporters rightly felt this was the appropriate moment”, said van Bommel.
Speaking after the game, PSV’s head coach praised Jeroen Zoet’s and Mohamed Ihattaren’s performances. “Jeroen Zoet kept us in the game with a string of fine saves and Mohamed Ihattaren is really growing. He shows it every match although he is still only seventeen years old. We will give him some rest now and then if we can”, said Van Bommel, when asked why Ihattaren was taken off in the 64th minute.
‘Our own fault’
Van Bommel continued: “Jeroen Zoet was very important for us in the phase that Sporting got a number of decent chances. At the end of the game we started some fine counter attacks and managed to keep possession of the ball.” PSV will now put their focus on facing Ajax in the Philips Stadion on Sunday. “There is not much time left in between those two big games”, said Van Bommel. “It is our own fault, though. We should have qualified for the UEFA Champions League.”