Dutch must focus on the main prize, say coaches

Dutch Assistant coaches Frank de Boer and Phillip Cocu have warned Holland against making the same mistakes they did in 1998, when they face Slovakia in the second-round
holland world cup 2010

(Photo: Tsutomu Takasu)

Dutch Assistant coaches Frank de Boer and Phillip Cocu have warned Holland against making the same mistakes they did in 1998, when they face Slovakia in the second-round.

A hotly-tipped Dutch outfit crashed out at the semi-final stage in France 12 years ago after Dennis Bergkamp’s famous winner saw them knock out Argentina.

“It all has to do with focusing on your target,” said Cocu, who won 101 international caps.

“You can celebrate reaching a quarter or semi-final but it is all about winning the final.”

Former team-mate de Boer added: “That is something I missed when we played at the 1998 World Cup.

“Then we seemed satisfied with reaching the final four.

“It’s my experience with tournaments like this that I want to convey to this squad.”

Holland are widely expected to progress to the last eight when they take on Slovakia, who conquered World Champions Italy in the group stages, this afternoon.

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