10 August 2014 03:23
New AZ coach Marco van Basten labelled his team’s 3-0 win over Heracles in their Eredivisie opener on Saturday as “a good first step”.
The 49-year-old quit his position as Heerenveen coach at the end of last season, having announced he would take over at AZ in April, and Van Basten started his new job impressively with a big win away from home.
After a scoreless first half, Steven Berghuis, Guus Hupperts and Muamer Tankovic produced the goals for the visitors and Van Basten was thrilled to see each of his forwards get on the scoresheet in AZ’s first game of the 2014-15 Eredivisie season.
“Nice that all strikers have scored, 3-0 here is not ordinary,” he said.
“They [Heracles] play very dynamic, with many attackers. The defence was good for us and slowly we got more grip.
“I think we already reasonably well accustomed to each other. A good first step.”
Van Basten led Heerenveen to eighth and fifth in his two seasons in charge and AZ hope he can drive them back up the table to even better finishes this term.
AZ finished eighth last season and 10th the campaign before but have been one of the stronger clubs in the Eredivisie over the past decade, winning the title in 2008-09 and finishing in the top three on three other occasions.
But the team from Alkmaar have not improved enough yet, according to Van Basten with the former Netherlands and Ajax coach unhappy with AZ’s first-half performance.
“We wanted to pressure [Heracles] in the right way but could not,” he said.