June 17, 2014 / 10:20 PM / 3 years ago

Dutch masters help youngsters pass the stress test

Netherlands' national soccer team player Wesley Sneijder attends a training session at the Beira-Rio stadium in Porto Alegre June 17, 2014. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

PORTO ALEGRE Brazil (Reuters) - The Netherlands old guard are helping the youngsters to handle the stress at the World Cup and not get carried away with the praise that followed their opening 5-1 win over Spain, said playmaker Wesley Sneijder.

“We all know that it was a good victory against Spain but we have only earned three points,” he told a news conference ahead of Wednesday’s Group B match against Australia.

“We as seasoned players have to make the younger players aware. For many, this is their first tournament. The younger players have picked up on this, they are thinking ahead to the next match. Tomorrow, we would like to have six points.”

The Netherlands set the finals alight by thrashing world champions Spain. Although not much was expected of a side with several youngsters alongside old-timers like Sneijder, Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben, they are now one of the teams to watch.

But they were keeping a lid on their emotions, Sneijder said. “How will the younger players deal with the stress? We’ve been helping each other fantastically. There’s a healthy level of tension. The real inner pressure has departed,” he said.

Reporting by Angus MacSwan; Editing by Ken Ferris

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