Van Marwijk wants his Dutch to entertain
Netherlands boss Bert van Marwijk has promised the fans his side will provide goals when they take on San Marino in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier tomorrow.
The Oranje will turn out for the first time as FIFA's top-ranked nation when they take on the minnows who, along with American Samoa, Andorra and Montserrat, are joint 203rd and bottom of the pile. Understandably then, the expectation among a sell-out crowd in Eindhoven will be for plenty of goals - and Van Marwijk expects his team to oblige.
"The stadium is completely sold out, which is saying something, given that we are playing San Marino," the coach said. "And I feel we owe it to the nation and the fans in Eindhoven to give our level best."
He added on www.telegraaf.nl: "These people are coming for goals. San Marino will be compact and will pack the defence. We must play well and quickly to combat them. You're playing in one half of the pitch, in a small space and so you need to pass accurately and quickly to break this wall of 11 players." Asked how many goals would constitute a successful night, he added: "You cannot call a number. Only afterwards can you tell if you've done well or not.''
Midfielder Mark van Bommel agreed with his coach's assessment - and warned his team-mates to take nothing for granted. "Concentration is key in these sorts of matches where the opponent is likely to dig in and reduce the area of play,'' he said. "Even more important is the execution: precision passing and keeping up the pace. We cannot allow San Marino to slow down the match."
Second-placed Sweden travel to Hungary who sit third in the group as both sides look to close the gap on Holland and secure a possible play-off berth. For Hungary only a win would keep alive their hopes of making it to Poland and Ukraine next summer and they will also be looking to avenge their 2-0 defeat in Sweden 12 months ago when a brace from Pontus Wernbloom earned the hosts three points.
Finland host Moldova in the other Group E fixture with a victory required if they are to keep any slim chances of reaching next summer's finals alive.