Defender Dirk Marcellis is sure PSV Eindhoven can still salvage something from their Group G campaign telling uefa.com "you never know in football".
At 19, Dirk Marcellis is certainly receiving a football education. Two years ago he captained the Netherlands to the UEFA European Under-17 Championship final, and by last season was making his UEFA Champions League debut in PSV Eindhoven's quarter-final at Liverpool FC.
Now a regular choice in the Dutch side's defence, in the last month he has had to deal with the departure of the coach that gave him his PSV break, Ronald Koeman. Then, at Fenerbahçe SK on Matchday 4, his deflection put the Turkish side ahead and on their way to a 2-0 win that leaves the Dutch champions four points adrift in Group G with only two games left. Marcellis, though, was philosophical.
"It was a very difficult against Fenerbahçe," he told uefa.com. "They are a very good team and they have skilful players. We tried to keep a clean sheet but on the half-hour the first goal came, then it was 2-0 and then it's very hard to play. You cannot go all out on attack as they will counter and score more probably. We needed to keep them out for longer."
The build-up to the game in Istanbul was overshadowed by Koeman's sudden departure for Valencia CF, leaving caretaker Jan Wouters in charge for the Matchday 4 fixture. "It was hard because Ronald Koeman gave me a lot of chances, he let me play," Marcellis said. "It is very hard for me but I have to show the new coach that I can play."
Still, Marcellis has a whole career ahead of him, and took the positives out of the situation, not least the chance to sample to ferocious Fenerbahçe atmosphere. "It's great," he said. "A lot of people singing and jumping all game long. That's great, it is very good to play here and you can learn a lot from these situations."
Marcellis is not giving up on PSV's last-16 prospects either, and is vowing to bounce back at PFC CSKA Moskva this week and on Matchday 6 at home to FC Internazionale Milano. "You never know in football," Marcellis said. "We will go for victory in Moscow and then we have Inter at home. If we win in Moscow we are sure of a UEFA Cup place and you never know what we can do after that."