Team news ahead of the weekend's Dutch Eredivisie action
Last Updated: February 15, 2013 9:01am
NEC: Entertain VVV-Venlo this weekend
VVV-Venlo will be looking to take the game to NEC when they travel to Nijmegen on Friday as they look to haul themselves closer to Eredivisie safety, according to coach Ton Lokhoff.
Lokhoff's side are currently 17th in the table and halted a run of four league defeats with a 2-2 draw at Heerenveen last weekend and the Dutchman wants to secure another positive result against seventh-placed NEC.
"We must show the courage to play football," said Lokhoff.
"That is the only way to get something from NEC. We can only achieve results if we play as a team and we can.
"In the game against Heerenveen we showed that already. In Nijmegen on Friday night I expect at least the same from my players, preferably something more."
Former Excelsior manager Lokhoff may be targeting a result but he knows NEC offer a stern test for his struggling side.
"NEC is a team in form," he said.
"With that team you see very well what a series of victories can do for you - they have a lot of confidence."
NEC have won their last three games and will certainly go into the match as favourites but if VVV can claim all three points it means Willem II would go into their game at Twente on Saturday six points adrift at the bottom of the table.
Twente are currently on a four-match winless run but coach Steve McClaren has refused to rule his side out of the title race.
The 2010 Eredivisie champions have dropped to fourth but McClaren is keen to continue fighting for the club's second league crown.
"I will keep on fighting," he told Voetbal International. "If all the players are fit and available, we have still got a good team that can compete for the Eredivisie title.
"At the moment, there is an inexplicable fear in the group. All the players have this week to decide what they want to do. Do they want to continue, or quit."
Current leaders PSV also play on Saturday and can open up a six-point gap if they can beat FC Utrecht.
NAC Breda face Heracles and AZ Alkmaar travel to NAC Breda in Saturday's other games.
Second-placed Ajax face a trip to RKC Waalwijk on Sunday knowing anything other than a win could allow Feyenoord to leapfrog them, depending on how Ronald Koeman's side fare against strugglers PEC Zwolle whilst Vitesse entertain Groningen and Heerenveen take on ADO Den Haag.