Football: Soccer-Netherlands’ Blind warns against taking Czechs lightly


AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Netherlands veteran Daley Blind has warned his team mates about having too confident an approach against the Czech Republic in the last 16 of the European Championship in Budapest on Sunday.

The Dutch topped Group C by winning all three matches while the Czechs finished third in Group D with four points but Blind is wary of the threat posed by their tricky opponents.

“We cannot underestimate a team like the Czechs,” the defender told a news conference on Friday.

“I understand the figures in our past clashes with them are not to our advantage so we must be at our best for the game.”

The Netherlands were knocked out of the Euro 2016 qualifiers by the Czechs who beat them home and away.

“Revenge might be too harsh a word to use about our approach but we’ve worked hard to get here and we’re really looking forward to the next phase. It’s knockout now and that brings a whole new dimension,” added Blind.

He stressed that the training intensity and focus remained the same, even though the tournament was now sudden death.

“In the group there’s an opportunity to bounce back if things don’t work out but in the knockout phase there’s no room for mistakes,” he said.

“All that counts now is the result and that brings a different pressure to what we’ve had in the group phase,”

“But it hasn’t changed our preparations, We are still preparing as best we can, and it will be no different to what we did ahead of any of the other matches,” added Blind.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Source link