PSV Eindhoven set high goals for new season

By Xinhua

Amsterdam : Dutch football champions PSV Eindhoven have set themselves high goals, including the domestic league title and a place in the knock-out stages of the UEFA Champions League.

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“Our first aim is to win the Dutch title, but progressing to the next stage in the Champions League has some great financial consequences,” coach Ronald Koeman told reporters at his team’s first media session of the new season held at the Philips Stadium in Eindhoven.

“We will try to be successful on four fronts: the Johan Cruijff Cup, the (Dutch league) championship, the KNVB (the Royal Netherlands Football Association) Cup and we hope to book a place in the Champions League knockout rounds,” he said.

Koeman’s side will open the new campaign Saturday against arch-rivals Ajax for the Johan Cruijff Cup, which usually pits last season’s league champions against the KNVB Cup holders.

PSV’s first league match will be Aug 19 against hosts Heracles Almelo.

Koeman said he believes in his team and has a lot of confidence in the squad, which he predicted would play more attractive football.

Last season, PSV were run-away leaders in the first half, but almost squandered its huge lead in the closing stages.

The team has made some changes for the new season.

“I think we have signed some good players, and we have found the right mix of youth and experience. The average age of our 28-man squad is 24.5 years,” said Koeman.

During the summer break, PSV signed Dutch international Kenneth Perez, who played for Ajax last season, and are trying to bring Serbia’s defender Slobodan Rajkovic on loan from Chelsea.

PSV has just won the Russian Railways Cup in Moscow over the weekend, beating AC Milan and Real Madrid on the way.

“These games have been crucial to building confidence and giving young talented players an opportunity to show off their skills,” Koeman said.

“I think we will play more attractive football, but it will not necessarily lead to better results. I think we have been shaping a team that suits our philosophy of football,” he added.