Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bert reveals Dutch tension

Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk admits the Dutch are feeling the heat ahead of their crunch Euro 2012 Group B clash with Germany on Wednesday.

Van Marwijk’s side fell to a shock 1-0 defeat to Denmark in the opener and are on the brink of an early exit. A second loss at the hands of arch rivals Germany could signal the end for Netherlands.

"Of course things are tense when we lose and we get irritated at times. But that is where we are going to draw our motivation from. I believe in my players," said Van Marwijk.

Netherlands dominated against the Danes in Kharkiv on Saturday but could not find the net, despite having 29 shots to Denmark’s eight.

The performance drew much criticism in the Dutch media, with Van Marwijk involved in a heated exchange with a television journalist at Tuesday’s news conference.

Despite the public show of tension, Van Marwijk insisted he is calm ahead of their remaining two soccer games in Group B.

"I don't know what the atmosphere is like back in Holland because we are here in Ukraine," he added.

"Of course there is tension here, but positive tension - we are looking forward to the game. This is part of the job. I don't feel the pressure too much."

Misfiring pair Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben were among the players heavily criticised in the aftermath of the opener, fluffing a number of openings in the surprise reverse.

Punters betting on sports believe these deep divisions will spill out onto the pitch, the leaving the 2010 Wordl Cup finalists on the brink of a shock early elimination.

Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder is confident Robben, who plays alongside a number of the Germans at Bayern Munich, can be a key figure for his side at Metalist Stadium.

"He creates chances and gets people in front of goal and he will do the same against Germany - he can do it. He is a man for the big occasion," said Sneijder.

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