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"Important step in the championship race" (

26 feb 2006 - Source:

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Guus Hiddink said that his team had made an important step in the championship race against a good team. "I am happy to see more stability in PSV than a while ago", he claimed. According to Louis van Gaal 'his players wanted it very bad, but they just couldn't take them on'. Last week"It wasn't easy for both teams to play here today, looking back at last week's European matches", Hiddink said at press conference held after the match. "For the first time in two seasons we faced a defeat at home in the Champions League and then you have to wait and see what it does to the players. AZ won their match but were put out of the UEFA Cup anyway. Our team was very upset about the defeat, so, again, you have to wait and see what the morale will be in the run to today's important match. We started off very well, with a lot of pressure forward. A brilliantly taken corner kick of course helped and we were even able to pursue the 2-0 score. After that we did lean back a bit too much, but that was not really how we wanted to play. We did in that phase of the match get some more opportunities to even score some more goals. In the second half we did not really face real problems. So I think it is a good step in the right direction against a very good team." 'This time no compliments'AZ-coach Van Gaal agreed with Hiddink. "We played a good match last Thursday but it ended with a fatal goal. You have wait and see how the players deal with the situation and how they prepare again for this match - as a coach you can never really tell. Today's match was our last chance and then you have got to try an find the right state of mind. However, after no more than five minutes the match was over and PSV were able to play the type of game they can do so well and like. I could give some compliments again, tell people we played a really good match, but I won't do so this time. It has not been the first time for us to practically give away the match in the first couple of minutes and that is something that just should not happen at this level. I have had two moments of hope during the match, but unfortunately I have to say that today we have not been to play the way what we have done the whole season so far. We should not forget that. The players wanted it very bad, but they just couldn't take them on." Stretched or tornThe injury for PSV-defender Eric Addo seems to be serious. "He overstretched his knee totally, so it is likely to say that something inside might be torn. Further investigation will have to prove the seriousness of the injury." Hiddink also informed the people about his choice for Culina over Affelay. "Afellay had some problems with his leg. Even though he was able to start in today's line-up, I doubted whether he would have lasted the whole match. That's why I decided to play with three men forward with a midfield behind them that would put in a lot of labour. That way I could always change things later if I would have had to in adding Afellay to the team for someone else." When asked about the chances to win this year's title: "These are great steps, even more so because of the fact that the team is different from last year's. Last year we were unbeatable in this phase of the season. Fortunately there is currently more stability than a while ago, but still you can't say that we maintained last season's level. Back then we would have known by today's position in the league that we would not have given anything away."