Schmidt calls Nijhuis’ appointment ‘not important’ for a duel with Feyenoord

PSV coach Roger Schmidt has no need to comment on the appointment of referee Bas Nijhuis for Sunday’s top match against Feyenoord. The German prefers to focus on his team, which may be able to take a big step in the battle for second place with the fit again Cody Gakpo.

Nijhuis whistles a PSV game for the first time on Sunday since his collision with Schmidt in the away game against Sparta Rotterdam (3-5 victory) two months ago. The coach then accused the referee of having deliberately whistled against PSV because Schmidt had criticized him earlier in the season.

“I never have to speak to him again”, said Schmidt, who was suspended by the KNVB for one game because of his statements.

The German chose the cautious way on Friday. “I have talked a lot about referees this season, maybe too much. So let me stop that”, Schmidt said with a laugh during his press conference in Eindhoven on Friday.

“I don’t think it’s that Nijhuis will be the referee on Sunday. The situation between me and him is not important for the game with Feyenoord. I focus completely on my team, which I have to prepare as well as possible for this very important match. ”

Saturday decision on Gakpo

Schmidt hopes to have Gakpo again in the top match in the Philips Stadium. The attacker was injured in the away game against Sparta and then stopped playing.

“Cody is doing well. He has been training with the group for the past two days and has had no pain,” said Schmidt. “We have two more practice sessions and will make a decision on Saturday after the last practice session. Cody is very important to the team, but we also have to be careful with him. It is clear that we have missed a player like him in recent months.”

Number two PSV is eight points ahead of number five Feyenoord with nine matches to go. “But of course Feyenoord is still a competitor for second place”, said Schmidt, who saw his team lose 3-1 in De Kuip on January 31. “They have a strong team. In the last game they were very efficient and we made a few simple mistakes. We have to do that better this time.”
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