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Koeman: "Sparta are no basement club" (PSV.nl)

24 okt 2006 - Source: PSV.nl

This newsitem has been supplied by PSV.nl

Ronald Koeman predicted at the media briefing ahead of Wednesday night’s domestic league encounter with Sparta Rotterdam that the game will obviously have not as much impact as the clashes Galatasaray and AZ, but he added that he does not look upon Sparta as a basement club. Manuel da CostaKoeman discussed the performances of 20-year-old Manuel da Costa, the French speaking Portuguese who netted the opening goal against AZ last Sunday afternoon to crown a fine first game. The defender received a knock to his ankle at training this morning, so he went inside for treatment. Koeman explained why da Costa was handed his debut last Sunday afternoon. "I thought it was about time to give him an opportunity to show his skills. He was signed last summer as an exciting prospect for the future, so I thought he deserved a chance. And he is set to start against Sparta as well. I think he met expectations in Alkmaar. He has attacking skills, passes the ball around well, is a good header and knows when to produce tackles as a defender. Da Costa has all the ingredients to develop into a solid defender. But Alex and Salcido are my first choice partners in the heart of defence." Sparta RotterdamKoeman feels Sparta have put in some decent performances recently. "There are teams that play less attractive football and yet are above Sparta in the Eredivisie table. I think Sparta may lie rock-bottom, but they certainly deserve to move up the table. They did well at home against AZ and on their trip to Roda JC." PSV will meet RKC in Waalwijk on Saturday night, after which they will focus on next Tuesday night’s UCL fourth group stage tie with Galatasaray, when they have an opportunity to clinch a place among the best sixteen clubs in Europe. "It would be an exceptional achievement for a Dutch club and who knows, we may progress even further, if we are handed a favourable draw. But first we will concentrate on the Sparta game; our loyal fans expect us to earn a win."