Netherlands Coach Downplays Travel Disruption Ahead of England Clash

Euro 2024: Netherlands Coach Downplays Travel Disruption Ahead of England Clash

Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman remained calm despite a travel issue for his team on Tuesday July 9.

The former Barcelona manager assured everyone that his players were well-rested and prepared for their crucial Euro 2024 semi-final clash against England on Wednesday.

According to the Dutch Football Association, the Dutch national team’s travel plans to Dortmund by train were disrupted due to a blockage on the route. This forced them to switch to air travel. They flew to Dortmund, arriving at their hotel some four hours later than planned.

“It was not a problem, we had a good rest this afternoon, we were on the plane for just 30 minutes, arrived at our hotel and we can have a good rest tonight,” Koeman said in an interview with UEFA after his scheduled pre-match press conference had to be cancelled because of the travel delay.

Koeman expressed confidence going into the match at the BVB Stadium. “There’s not much difference between the two teams,” he said. “It’s really a 50-50 chance in my opinion. But we need to play perfectly to win.”

“We know they have a lot of individual qualities but both teams are really strong and it will be a good fight,” he predicted.

He reported that the squad had no injury concerns and were “physically strong” despite a swift turnaround from Saturday’s quarter-final win over Turkey in Berlin.

“England had to play extra time in their last game (against Switzerland) so maybe that could be a difference in the latter stages of the match. We (Netherlands) are sharp, we are focused and we are looking forward to playing a good match against them.”

Koeman also highlighted the potential boost from Dutch fan support. With an estimated 80,000 fans expected in Dortmund or nearby fan parks, he said, “Our fans are close by. Hopefully, we can make them really happy by winning and reaching the final on Sunday.”

Source: Reuters

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