Twente chief ready for finale
FC Twente coach Michel Preud’homme is preparing for a "strange" finale to the Eredivisie season.
FC Twente could end up retaining the title – or missing out on the Champions League.
The defending champions beat Willem II 4-0 in Enschede on Sunday to stay one point clear of second-placed Ajax, who came from behind to triumph 2-1 at Heerenveen.
However, third-spotted PSV Eindhoven also won on Sunday – 2-1 against Vitesse Arnhem – to remain three points adrift of Twente and with a far superior goal difference.
The final round of Eredivisie fixtures on May 15 – Ajax and Twente go head to head in a blockbuster encounter at the Amsterdam ArenA while PSV visit FC Groningen – will therefore prove decisive.
Preud’homme said: "I have previously said that the title would be decided on the last day of the season. That prediction appears to be true.
"If we assume PSV win their last game, we will be third or champions. That is strange. It could mean that we would miss the Champions League."
Twente and Ajax also meet this weekend in the KNVB Beker final.
Preud’homme added: "We have played every game this season to win and we’re going to do the same in the next two games – with confidence.
"It’s no accident that we have arrived at this position. It’s something we have earned and deserve. We are glad we are here and it’s great to play these games.’
"We will do everything to win. First we focus fully on the cup final. We are going to spare no players. Everyone also wants to play that game. Both prizes are important for FC Twente."
Veteran goalkeeper Sander Boschker, who is expected to be between the posts in the cup final, reckons his team have the mental strength to prevail over the next fortnight.
The 40-year-old told AD Sportwereld: "I am so tired of that story that we are mentally inferior. I believe we have already proved over the last four years that we are not.
"We look at ourselves, do not listen to others. It is wonderful to have these two duels with Ajax. This is what every player wants.
"I feel that it will be fine. We have grown confident in ourselves.
"Last year, when we won the title in Breda, I was moved to tears – especially because we won something that I always thought would be too high for FC Twente. That meant a lot to me. It was different to the previous successes."
Yesterday’s victory was never in doubt from the moment Luuk de Jong put Twente in front late in the first half.
Douglas doubled the advantage before an own goal from Dragan Jelic and a Theo Janssen penalty rounded off an easy win.
"The opening goal just before half-time was important," Preud’homme said. "After our second goal, we could simply play our game."