Timmy Simons hopes PSV Eindhoven will heed the warning given to them by Tottenham Hotspur FC when they play ACF Fiorentina for a place in the semi-finals.
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"We got a good result in Italy and played well, enjoying a lot of possession," said the 31-year-old midfielder, who is poised to make his 82nd appearance in UEFA club competitions. "But we saw in the last round against Tottenham that a convincing away performance, and even a victory, doesn't mean things will be easy at home. So we're taking nothing for granted. Fiorentina are a good side, I rate them highly."
With PSV just 90 minutes away from a place in the last four, and primed to clinch a fourth consecutive Dutch league title against FC Twente on Sunday, these are heady time for the 1977/78 UEFA Cup winners. Simons, however, remains typically cautious, saying: "It's a busy week, but we know exactly what we have to do: focus on the next game. That's always the most important one."
Ibrahim Afellay (ankle) and Jefferson Farfán (suspended) are both missing, robbing the hosts of two of their most creative talents, although Simons does not regard this as a major problem. "Both lads have been playing well and Jefferson has really got his form back during the last few weeks. But we've also been without them, or other important players, in key matches in the past. The important thing is that those who take their places are ready for the job and that we succeed as a team."
The 59-times capped Belgian international is confident PSV will rise to the considerable challenge of eliminating a Fiorentina side currently fourth in Serie A. "There have been a number of times since the winter break when I felt we have played really well, and most of those times have been against better sides," Simons explained. "That's when everybody raises their game because we know at the highest level you can't afford to make mistakes. That's how we'll approach the clash with Fiorentina."