Fenerbahce striker Dirk Kuyt has praised the passion of Turkish players and fans, but conceded they need to keep their emotions in check.
Kuyt and his team-mates are set to face domestic rivals Besiktas on Sunday, and, speaking to Goal.com following their 4-2 Europa League triumph away to Borussia Monchengladbach, the Netherlands international said he saw himself as a leader of the Super Lig outfit.
“I’m one of the most experienced figures in the group,” the 32-year old said.
“Together with Raul Meireles and Mehmet Topal, who played for Valencia, I’m supposed to lead the team. An example is the acts of Caner Erkin (against Moenchengladbach).
“He already had a yellow card, but continued to protest, so I tried to keep him away before he got a needless second yellow.
“The lads just have a lot of heart and passion. Am I a father figure? I suppose you could say that.”
The former Liverpool man recently returned from injury and scored his side’s third goal against in the enthralling victory, and the Dutchman was pleased with his return to form.
The forward also cited the victory as a welcome response to recent turmoil at the club following the termination of long-serving midfielder Alex’s contract.
“It was a great night thanks to a fantastic win. It’s nice to come back like this, and we needed this victory,” Kuyt said.
“There’s been plenty of activity in and around the club, following the departure of Alex.”