Van der Wiel issues rallying call
Ajax defender Gregory van der Wiel has called on his team-mates to raise their game as they look to bounce back from defeat to FC Utrecht when they host NAC Breda in the quarter-finals of the KNVB Beker on Thursday night.
The Amsterdam side fell six points behind leaders PSV Eindhoven after being humbled 3-0 yesterday as a first-half double from Edouard Duplan set the tone for Utrecht, with Ismo Vorstermans wrapping things up late on.
Coach Frank de Boer was heavily critical of his team following the display at Stadion Galgenwaard, and Dutch international Van der Wiel is expecting a much-improved display as they look to retain the trophy.
He told De Telegraaf: "We were slack and we gave the ball away too often. Most of our players were a long way below their best and I have no explanation (for the performance). This is certainly a good lesson for us. We now have to get down to hard work and make sure it does not happen again."
The top two in the Eredivisie meet on Wednesday night in the pick of the last-eight ties. PSV hold a slender one-point lead over defending league champions FC Twente and will hope to dent their rivals chances of silverware at Arke Stadion.
The Eindhoven side will again be without striker Jonathan Reis, who faces a lengthy lay-off following the horrific knee injury he suffered against Roda JC, but coach Fred Rutten otherwise has a clean bill of health.
Twente are likely to continue with USA centre-half Oguchi Onyewu in defence with the on-loan AC Milan man having made a solid start to life with the Enschede club.
Utrecht, buoyed by their handsome weekend win, face FC Groningen in Wednesday's other last-eight tie while the line-up is completed by tomorrow's meeting between Eerste Divisie side RKC Waalwijk and amateur side VV Noordwijk.