AZ Alkmaar manager spoke to NOS ahead of tonight’s 1st leg Europa League play-off in Serbia against Vojvodina and compared their opponent tonight to one of John Van der Brom’s former clubs Vitesse Arnhem.

  • By James Rowe
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brom azAZ have reached the group stage of the Europa League for the past two years, but standing between them and making it three in a row will be Serbian side Vojvodina, who finished 4th in their league last season.

John van den Brom said on tonight’s encounter, ”I think we can be happy with the draw but we are not playing a team tonight that we can just roll over. Vojvodina have been playing in previous Europa League rounds and they are unbeaten in their league campaign so far . They are a team that is in form and only consists of Serbian players who are technically gifted on the ball.

”Despite our defeat at PSV Eindhoven I feel that we have started the season well and we have to continue in that vein in Europe as well. I would compare our opponent tonight in terms of the Eredivisie with Vitesse Arnhem due to their useful players who are good on the ball and try to score goals.

”In modern football you must play in a compact way and attack at the right time and we have the players to do that. Vojvodina are also a team that wants to attack and they play good football too . They are prone to leaving space in behind their defence so we have to take advantage of that.”

In the run-up to the game, van den Brom criticised the KNVB for making them play their league tie with PSV at 3.45pm on Sunday instead of Friday or Saturday, which would have allowed them more preparation time. PSV boss Phillip Cocu backed the AZ boss and thinks the KNVB aren’t doing their best to support Dutch clubs in Europe.

When asked about it during his press conference, van den Brom added, ”I have never stated that we are tired in the run up to this game we are extremely fit. I just stated that the planning could have been better. I am happy with the support that I received from Phillip Cocu because this is not about one club but the whole of Dutch football. We are all trying to think about how we can improve and these small details can have big consequences.”

James Rowe (696 Posts)