Mark van Bommel faced the cameras on Tuesday afternoon ahead of Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League clash between PSV and FC Barcelona, who are looking to win their section for the record 20th time. PSV cannot qualify for the UEFA Champions League knockout stages but are playing for third place in Group B, which ensures playing UEFA Europa League football in the new year. “We know it will not be easy but we are still in the race for third place.”
‘The little things are decisive in football’
PSV suffered a 4-0 defeat against FC Barcelona in Camp Nou in September but football pundits liked PSV’s style of play, while Barça’s boss Ernesto Valverde admitted he felt the final score was somewhat flattering. Mark van Bommel could not agree more. “I’ve said it before. The little things are always decisive in football. We took the lead in three of out four group games. Just take the Inter game. If their keeper had been sent off for a professional foul on Steven Bergwijn, we could have made it 2-0. Deduct three points from Inter’s total and add three to ours and you may wonder how different the table would look.”
Barcelona are through to the Champions League knockout stage but Valverde will not rest his stars.Luis Suárez has remained behind in Spain but the other top guns, including Lionel Messi, will be out training in the Philips Stadion tonight and start on Wednesday evening. “They have a big squad with a great deal of quality players. They will undoubtedly field a very good team and want to win this game as well. I am not worried about the atmosphere in the Philips Stadion. We will work hard and always have our fans behind us. The atmosphere in the Champions League is often even better than for league games.”
‘Stick with our own style’
The PSV head coach told the assembled media that the Sunday’s big game at Feyenoord is not on his mind. “We never look beyond the next game and only focus on the match at home to FC Barcelona. It’s great to host FC Barcelona. We face another tall task just like we did when we met Inter and Tottenham Hotspur. We always go out to win the game but a very good opponent will always push you back, whether you like it or not. It obviously makes things difficult. But we will try to stick with our own style as much as possible”, concluded Van Bommel his pre-match conference.