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Oct, 23, 2006

Feyenoord coach Koeman in a rage after Ajax mauling

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Feyenoord coach Erwin Koeman does not want to see his players for several days after their humiliating 4-0 home defeat by arch-rivals Ajax.

Koeman told his squad after Sunday's rout that they could stay home until Wednesday, when they will start preparing for next weekend's home match against Twente Enschede, fourth in the Dutch league six points above the struggling Rotterdam side.

"The players can stay at home for two days and think about what went wrong," a club spokesman said on Monday.

Feyenoord, ninth with 10 points after eight matches, made an ambitious start against the league leaders with three goal attempts in the first 10 minutes.

But after Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's 12th-minute opener the resistance was broken and Ajax dominated the match and created 16 chances.

It was Feyenoord's biggest home defeat against the Amsterdam side since 1995, when Ajax thrashed them 5-0.

In those days, though, Ajax were on their way to winning the Champions League with one of their best teams ever, whereas the current squad failed to beat FC Copenhagen in the third qualifying round of Europe's top club competition.

"All our weaknesses were revealed," said a stunned Koeman. "We should be glad they scored only four goals. This was the worst match under my command."

For some years Feyenoord had the most prolific attack in the Netherlands, with Dirk Kuyt and Salomon Kalou, but since they left in the off-season the 2002 UEFA Cup winners look toothless.

Pierre van Hooijdonk, who said last week he would retire at the end of the season, is a pinch hitter and new signing Angelos Haristeas, who came over from Ajax, has struggled with injuries and failed to find the net in the matches he has played.

Feyenoord's critical financial situation is at the root of a crisis that has put chairman Jorien van den Herik under fire.

The club received over 20 million euros ($25 million) for Kuyt and Kalou, but the management was forced to use most of the money to erase debts instead of investing in the squad.

Therefore, Koeman does not have to fear for his future, though finishing in the top five and reaching the playoffs will still be his target.

Loyal fans, however, are looking to get rid of the chairman and open the door for new investors. They believe that is the only way to bring their team back to the top.

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