Dutch Going For A Record
Updated Wednesday, 9th September 2009
Holland will just as keen to win at Hampden as Scotland will be which is as it should be.
Scotland are not the only side that will be playing for something tonight. While the Netherlands have already qualified for South Africa 2010 they want to to head south with a perfect qualification record. Holland coach Bert van Marwijk warned Scotland not to expect an easy ride tonight as the Group Nine winners, with seven wins from seven games, want to become the first Dutch side to record a 100 per cent record in their qualifying campaign. Although some may have thought that van Marwijk would be looking to take the opportunity to utilise his squad, the Holland coach insists he and his players will be going all out to make history. He said: "Winning all eight games is an extra motivation for me. The players also have that extra motivation. We also have a responsibility to Norway and Macedonia. It is a serious game for us and so the best players will play. We saw Scotland beat Macedonia on Saturday and they put in a good performance and now this is their last chance. It will be a special game and there will be a great atmosphere."
"Winning all eight games is an extra motivation for me"
The Dutch coach is expecting to see a Scotland side up for the game and rather different from the one fwhich lost 3-0 in Amsterdam in March. He said: "It will be a different team. They will play to win so they will do everything they can. Playing here in Scotland, with 50,000 people inside Hampden, it will be a different game from Amsterdam." A curt Van Marwijk shrugged off the suspension to James McFadden, who scored the clincher on Saturday and upon whom many hopes would have been pinned. He said: "They can still play with 11 players, Maloney will play I think. I will not tell you which players I am concerned about, I will tell my players."
The Dutch were given a boost when Wesley Sneijder declared himself fit although Holland number one keeper Maarten Stekelenburg remains a doubt with an injured finger. Inter Milan midfielder Sneijder was taken to hospital after suffering an ankle injury in Saturday's 3-0 friendly win over Japan. However, he trained at Hampden last night and van Marwijk said: "Sneijder is fit, as is Andre Ooijer. We hoped that Stekelenburg would have recovered better than he did so it is doubtful but a decision will be taken tomorrow morning." If he is ruled out, van Marwijk has to choose between rookies Michel Vorm, who play for Utrecht and Vitesse Arnhem's Piet Velthuizen although it is the former, with only two friendly games for Holland under his belt, who is set to play in his first competitive international. However, the Dutch boss remained calm about the prospect of throwing an inexperienced keeper in front of a full-house at Hampden. He said: "When the first keeper can't play, then the second keeper comes in. I have confidence in him."
Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)
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