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De Jong still hurting over Euros failure

Netherlands forward Luuk de Jong may avoid watching any Euro 2016, still hurting about his nation’s failure to qualify.

The Dutch stunningly failed to reach the main event in France, finishing fourth in their qualifying group.

De Jong, who scored a late equaliser in a 1-1 friendly draw with the Republic of Ireland on Friday, said he was still upset.

“I’m not sure I’m going to watch any games because it’s going to hurt we’re not there,” he said.

De Jong added: “It’s a building period for us now really, so it’s still going to hurt until after the Euros.

“We just want to be ready for the first World Cup qualification game against Sweden.

“Now we play against Poland and Austria as well and we have a new team with some young guys and we want to grow stronger and do better than we did in the Euro qualification, so it’s going to be tough for us as well.”

Netherlands will face France, Sweden, Bulgaria, Belarus and Luxembourg in World Cup qualifying.

De Jong believes up-and-coming Dutch players are ready for a good run on the road to Russia 2018.

“Everybody knows Memphis [Depay], he still has the potential to become a good player,” he said.

“But also [Georginio] Wijnaldum, [Quincy] Promes, also [Kevin] Strootman, he came back from a long injury.

“In the defence we got some good players, [Jetro] Willems and [Virgil] van Dijk played a good season in Southampton, and [Jeffrey] Bruma with us in the team at PSV is also getting stronger and stronger.

“I think definitely we can be a good team and have some good players internationally. Hopefully we can have a good run in the World Cup qualification.”

Sat 28 May, 2016
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