Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman is hoping for a strong response after an overall disappointing return as Oranje boss back in March, Voetbal International reports.
In his second spell for the Dutch national team, Koeman saw his side lose on his return to France in convincing fashion with his side starting the UEFA Euro qualifiers with a 4-0 defeat but did respond with a 3-0 win against Gibraltar.
However, even then Koeman was left unimpressed with what he saw from his side. Determined to bring back an attacking football approach to the team, it was not enough when he saw Gibraltar go down to 10-men after 51 minutes in a match that Oranje really should have won by a bigger margin.
The former Everton boss is determined to see some improvement from his squad starting with the match against Croatia in the UEFA Nations League semi-final.
“I do have the idea that we have to put something right compared to March,” Koeman pointed out at the press moment towards the semi-final of the Nations League against Croatia. “I didn’t think that fit with what we want and how we want to play. I am confident that we are taking steps compared to then.” The same was true a few years ago, when Koeman became national coach for the first time.
‘It could all be a bit more positive. Also in terms of appearance,” Koeman recalls. “The group did a great job at that time, it was accompanied by good football and great matches.” the national coach looks back on that time. The Netherlands is now in the final round of the Nations League, in their own country Croatia is the first hurdle to be taken.
This may happen through a penalty shoot-out, which was discussed during the press conference. Koeman was a specialist as a player and so he was asked about such a possible outcome.
He said: “It hasn’t changed from my time as a footballer because it’s also the moments you have to take. At 3-0 you walk to the spot smiling and at 0-0 there is a lot more tension involved.”
Koeman knows that such a penalty series can be difficult, especially the Orange does not have a pleasant history with it.
He added: “You have to stay cool, that’s not always easy. You can train all you want, but you can’t train the moment. But we do recognise that it’s important once it gets to that point. You can have a fixed angle, wait for a keeper, but the more you doubt the worse it is. It depends on the player, he has to concentrate and practice. But practicing the moment when it’s the fifth on Wednesday evening and you have to use the penalty, that’s not possible.”