The AZ Alkmaar manager Gertjan Verbeek has said that his side must win the KNVB Beker title in order to have any chance of qualification to the Europa league next season. AZ Alkmaar are one of the teams looking to qualify for the European places this season, but their poor run of form in recent weeks means that they are unlikely to finish in the top five positions in the Dutch Eredivisie. They are currently 12th in the league table after a poor run of form that includes just two victories in the last five matches. Hence, they are unlikely to make it into the Europa league through the league positions, thus leaving them with the only option of qualifying for this competition by winning the KNVB Beker.
They will be playing against the second division club Dordrecht hoping to book their place in the last eight of the competition. Verbeek has raised the stakes ahead of the match by confirming that he will be naming a strong line-up for this match in the hope of progressing to the next round. The manager will have the presence of Donny Gorter in the first team after he has sufficiently recovered from his injury, but it is highly likely that Giliano Wijnaldum will be the starter.
“We want to be fighting for a place in Europe this season. This is from the league position, but this is now very difficult because we have lost a lot of points. Performing well in the cup would take the pressure away. That’s the pressure that we as a club have imposed on ourselves. The pressure of the players who want to perform and repeat what we did last season,” said the manager. After this match, they will be playing against FC Twente at home in another tough match.