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De Boer fears Netherlands disaster

Ajax coach Frank de Boer says it would feel like a disaster if the Netherlands were to fail to qualify for Euro 2016.

The Dutch sit fourth in Group A and will only qualify for the play-offs if they win their remaining two games and third-placed Turkey drop points along the way.

Danny Blind’s national team travel to face Kazakhstan on Saturday, before hosting the Czech Republic three days later and De Boer has stressed that failing to turn things around would be comparable to their inability to qualify for the 2002 World Cup.

“We have quality players to beat Iceland, to beat Turkey. I don’t want to call it a disaster, but it feels like it,” De Boer told Omnisport.

“We had a little bit the same in 1998. We reached the semi-final of the World Cup, we reached the semi-final of the European Championship in Holland. We were very disappointed we didn’t reach the final with the penalty shoot-out against Italy.

“Then you have one month off and then you have to start the qualifying games. And before you realise it, you’re five points down.

“We had the same in qualifying for Japan and Korea, we had the same experience. We played against Ireland and Portugal at home and we lost five points, we lost and we drew, and we never got over that.

“Maybe we weren’t focused enough to be ready for that tournament. If you drop points at the beginning against Iceland then the pressure gets higher and higher. I think that’s maybe the biggest reason.”

The Netherlands last failed to qualify for the European Championship in 1984, only to win the tournament four years later.

Wed 7 Oct, 2015
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