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Hiddink may rest some players (

7 dec 2004 - Source:

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Because of the delay PSV manager Guus Hiddink wanted the press conference held on the eve of the UEFA Champions League game against Panathinaikos to be brief, so that there would be some left for a final training in the Stadium Apostolos Nikolaidis. He once again said he was delighted that PSV had already progressed to the knock out phase with one game to go."We have already qualified, whereas I would have thought we could achieve that only after the final group game. I am delighted. Yet we are anxious to put up another fine display." When asked by a Dutch journalist how important it is for PSV to become group winners, Hiddink replied: "It does not really matter whether we will face the number one or the number two of a group. Football has become really international and only the stronger sides will have survived." Representatives of the press also speculated that some players might be rested ahead of the crucial league game against Feyenoord. "We would never have thought about another game but the UEFA Champions League tie, if we had not already made sure of qualification. But as we had a hard game last weekend and as not all players have come through unscathed, we may consider resting some players. We will see what players are fully fit and we must indeed bear in mind that we will meet Feyenoord next Sunday." The name of André Ooijer was raised, but Hiddink was rather evasive on that suggestion. The squad, sponsors and club officials had a delay both in Eindhoven and Athens. "It would have made me pretty nervous in nor0mal circumstances; it took a long time before we were in our hotel. But now I did not mind that much, as we have already ensured qualification. It was no big deal."After the press conference Hiddink was in a hurry to go to the training pitch.