LONDON: Ruud van Nistelrooy warned Dutch players that they could not be comfortable despite starting with the right step on the 2020 European championship.
The former Manchester United striker spoke from experience after he became part of the Dutch squad who was eliminated in the first knockout round despite playing well at the group stage.
The Netherlands cited seven points at the 2006 World Cup before being knocked out in Portugal’s hands and the next two years, they won all group stage matches in the European championship but were subdued Russia in the next round.
Van Nistelrooy said: “I have spoken to players. That’s why it’s very important that it’s not too comfortable after opposing Austria. This is because it’s hard to recover this rhythm.”
The Netherlands demonstrate exciting action at the tournament so far with open game patterns, but Nistelrooy sees the matter that they can change after their bets become increasing.
“It’s a different mentality, higher pressure. At the group stage, you have a chance to make mistakes. (Round 16 best) is a different stress, as a living or dead.”
Meanwhile, Daley Blind said ‘This is a new phase for this tournament and it provides a new dimension. We can not have fun at the knockout stage.
“You need to remain focused for 90 minutes, maybe even more. The results of the match determine everything.”