AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Netherlands coach Dick Advocaat has told his players and Dutch supporters to forget Thursday’s 4-0 thrashing in France if they want to keep alive their World Cup hopes against Bulgaria on Sunday.
“We must stop going on about France,” he told a press conference on Saturday, a day ahead of the Group A game at the Amsterdam Arena where the Netherlands must win to have any hope of finishing in the top two in their group.
“The players must revive themselves against Bulgaria. Everything else is unimportant. If the players are still in a funk, they might not even bother playing Bulgaria.
“What we will have to see is whether we can still give a 100 percent physical effort just three days after playing in Paris. But they must show themselves and the fans something tomorrow and that means winning. How they do it, is not important,” Advocaat added.
The Dutch are fourth in their group on 10 points, one place and two points behind Bulgaria, but a maximum return from their final three games could still secure a top-two finish.
On Thursday, they were overrun by the group leaders French at the Stade de France in their heaviest defeat for more than half a century.
The Netherlands were runners-up at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and finished third in Brazil four years later but have struggled since.
Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Neil Robinson