Friday, March 24, 2017

Cocu out to challenge on three fronts with PSV

SoccerNews in Eredivisie 10 Aug 2015


Alongside a successful Eredivisie title defence, Phillip Cocu has challenged his PSV side stay in the hunt for the KNVB Beker and the UEFA Champions League past the turn of the year.

Cocu’s men eased to their 22nd league title last term – finishing 17 points clear of Ajax – but bowed out of the Beker at the fourth round while exiting the UEFA Europa League in the last 32.

Cocu has since lost key personnel in the form of Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum to Manchester United and Newcastle United respectively.

However, Cocu maintains his side can challenge on three fronts ahead of their Eredivisie opener against ADO Den Haag on Tuesday.

Asked about his aims for the season, he told reporters on Monday: “These are winning the title, participating longer in the cup and also staying in Europe past winter.

“The ambition is to do that in the Champions League, but that depends on the draw, third in the group stage is achievable in my view. 

“We will go everywhere [in the league] as champions and that means opponents will have an extra motivation when they play against us. We must show the same hunger as last season to be champions again.

“The players know how intense the joy can be and we must use to achieve our goal.”

Long-term injury absentees Jetro Willems, Florian Jozefzoon and Menno Koch will all miss Tuesday’s clash but new faces such as Davy Propper, Maxime Lestienne en Gaston Pereiro could feature.

“We will try to improve from week to week. In terms of quality, I think this group is equivalent to that of last year,” he added.

“New guys should always get used, the alignment has to grow with each other and so it is logical that we are not on the same level as last year.”


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