FC Groningen’s Expensive Points Loss in Promotion Battle

FC Groningen’s Expensive Points Loss in Promotion Battle

FC Groningen lost expensive points in the battle for promotion on Sunday afternoon in sunny Euroborg. The home team did not get further than 1-1 against NAC. Trainer Dick Lukkien saw a sluggish FC Groningen, midfielder Laros Duarte noticed that his right leg was not doing what he wanted.

The right leg of FC Groningen midfielder Laros Duarte has already shown many beautiful things this season. The highlight was the free kick in December against Jong FC Utrecht. The Cape Verdean curled the ball into the far cross from an impossible angle that match.

The leg that has been very important for FC Groningen this season did not give up against NAC on Sunday afternoon. Duarte’s corner kicks, free kicks, crosses and shots were almost all below average. The midfielder himself was visibly disappointed by it. Ten minutes before the end he was replaced by Rui Mendes.

Psychological game

“I don’t know what it was, but today it didn’t work,” Duarte said afterwards about his faltering right. “I had to take quite a few corners and free kicks, but it didn’t work. You have that sometimes. On Monday I had an assist against FC Emmen, against NAC things didn’t go the way I wanted and that was annoying. I was disappointed, because they are opportunities. Sometimes if you hit a ball well, the next one will automatically go well. Sometimes it’s the other way around. If you hit a ball wrong, you want the next one to be right. If that doesn’t work either, it becomes a psychological game with yourself. I lost that today.”

Tired

Duarte was not the only one who did not have his day against NAC. Several players did not deliver what they could have achieved in the previous six matches, all of which were won. “It was a difficult match. We looked tired, the weather may have played a role. The energy that we normally have was not visible now. I must say that NAC did well. It’s a shame that we’re dropping points, but we shouldn’t worry. There are five more games to come. Although the opponents we still face see that the way NAC fought us can be quite difficult for us. We have to be prepared for that.”

Sloppy and syrupy

Trainer Lukkien also saw a difficult match. “We played stiffly and sloppily,” said the coach. “We like to play football in the center, but they had closed it off. When we played over the sides, we lost the ball too easily and too quickly, which meant we had to win the ball back unnecessarily often. This causes you to lose a lot of energy. You saw that in our game.”

Aftercare

The coach must now ensure that the loss of points does not lead to additional tension in the playing group. “You’re always busy with things like that. Over the past six weeks I have explained that things do not happen automatically. This point loss can happen, life goes on. It’s still in our hands, so we just have to keep doing what we’re doing.”

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