Been staying grounded
Feyenoord boss Mario Been is hoping his players can build on last week's 5-1 thrashing of FC Groningen but has played down talk of a late bid to reach the European play-off spots.
The Rotterdammers have endured a miserable campaign to date, languishing around the relegation spots for several months, although the low point came in the 10-0 battering at PSV Eindhoven in October.
But recent form has shown a marked improvement and they will look to extend their unbeaten run to a fifth game when they visit Heerenveen on Sunday.
Looking back to last weekend, Been said: ''We were due to win like that at some point, that much was clear. I saw us play well week in, week out but not get the rewards. The win against Groningen will give us a lot of confidence.''
The upturn in fortunes has led to talk of qualifying for Europe but Been is more concerned in the battle beneath them.
''I will be looking further down,'' he added. ''But with a gap of six points between us and the relegation spots we do have some breathing space. We play five times at home and four times away (in their remaining nine games), and will look at it from match to match. I have often said that we have a team that can beat anybody.''
The title race continues this weekend with leaders PSV Eindhoven taking on Excelsior in Rotterdam.
PSV, who hold a three-point lead over defending champions FC Twente, will not have been impressed with comments made this week by star winger Balazs Dzsudzsak.
The Hungarian, 24, recently signed a contract which will keep him at the Philips Stadion until 2015 but that has not prevented him from talking up a transfer.
''The (English) Premier League is one of the better, if not the best league in the world,'' he said. ''It would be something special to play there. I want to play for a better club than PSV, that is my intention and I have never hidden that. But my coach Fred Rutten believes I am not yet ready.''
Twente, who advanced to the final of the KNVB Beker with a 1-0 win over FC Utrecht, host NAC Breda.
Third-placed Ajax are five points off the summit and face a tricky test against improving AZ, who beat Twente last weekend.
At the bottom, Willem II's dwindling hopes of escaping the drop will come under scrutiny again at De Graafschap while second-bottom VVV-Venlo go to fourth-bottom Vitesse Arnhem the following afternoon.
On Saturday, ADO Den Haag host NEC Nijmegen and on Sunday Heracles visit fourth-placed Groningen and Utrecht meet Roda JC.