Bert van Marwijk has had to use all his coaching experience to prepare his Feyenoord side.
Bert van Marwijk has had to use all his coaching experience in preparing his Feyenoord side for tomorrow night's UEFA Cup final.
Off the pitch
While motivation for such a big match was never going to be a problem, Van Marwijk has had to ensure his team have not been too distracted by events off the pitch. The killing of prominent politician Pim Fortuyn yesterday has been a major talking point throughout the country, with the major reaction being shock and disbelief.
'As fit as possible'
"It is difficult to put in words what happened yesterday but of course we have to look forward and get ready for this match," he said on the eve of Wednesday's final. "It is extremely important to put the team in the right mood. I believe that we will play and therefore we will be as fit as possible."
Smolarek and Emerton missing
His plans have also been affected by the news that Euzebiusz Smolarek will also not play after testing positive for a banned substance. Similarly an appeal against Brett Emerton's suspension has also been dismissed, but despite this Van Marwijk is still confident and says "I have 20 players ready to play".
Yet he is no way dismissive of the strength of the opposition, especially as he made the trip to the Westfalenstadion last Saturday to see them clinch the German title in dramatic fashion. "I have seen Dortmund," he said. "[Marcio] Amoroso is a player who can make all the difference. He is very creative and it is extremely difficult to defend against him but we have got players who have similar talents. Dortmund have a magical blend of creative players and very disciplined players. They are very strong. [Tomás] Rosicky is one of those players and of course I have been thinking how to stop him on the pitch."
'Have to win'
Asked about his preparations for the final, Van Marwijk revealed that he will be motivating his team in much the same way he has throughout their campaign in the competition - although there is a slight twist. "We will prepare ourselves for the final the same way we have for every European match," he told uefa.com last week.
'No more chances'
"After our league win against [SC] Heerenveen, it was certain that we would end this season in third place, so we will have had nine days to prepare for the final," he added. "We will approach our opponents in the final the same way as in all the other stages, but there will be one big difference. This will only be one game, so you have to win the match. In the other matches, you have more chance to change something, because there are always two matches, and that won't be possible in the final.
The Dutchman will be a national hero if he can carry off a major European trophy in his home stadium, but van Marwijk says that he will be proud of his team whatever the outcome against Dortmund." I think when the final is finished, I will reconsider it and enjoy what we have achieved this season," he said. "Now I'm just very proud of my team for our achievements so far."