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Kovac notes Dutch influence on Australia

Croatia coach Niko Kovac can see the Dutch influence on Australia ahead of the friendly between the teams on Friday.

Former Socceroos coach Guus Hiddink was replaced by fellow Dutchman Pim Verbeek as the Netherlands’ style was implemented in Australia’s national setup.

Despite now being coached by an Australian in Ange Postecoglou after German Holger Osieck’s time in charge came to an end, Kovac can still see the impact the Dutch have had.

Kovac said he expected a serious test in his team’s last game before they open the FIFA World Cup against Brazil on June 12.

“(Australia) are a team who play modern football, and I think they have picked up on a lot of things from the Dutch. I felt that when I saw how they set up,” Kovac told Croatian media on Thursday.

“They play vertically, aggressively and quickly, pressing on rivals when they lose the ball.

“It will be a serious test for us.”

Kovac wants a couple of answers to questions he has over his team, but said most players would get game time.

As for the result, Croatia will be eager to win – but Kovac is more interested in learning more about his outfit.

“(The result) is not the most important, but we’re footballers, sportspeople and we always want to win,” Kovac said.

“But, even if we don’t get the result, it won’t be a problem at all.

“We have one or two questions and the rest is settled.”

Kovac also said he would be keeping a close eye on Brazil’s friendly against Serbia, also on Friday, before settling on his setup for the tournament opener.

“Everyone has the chance to state their chase, although maybe not for the starting XI, but for the first, second or third substitutes,” he said.

“We will watch carefully Brazil against Serbia, and only then will we come to a final decision on how we set up to oppose Brazil.”

Fri 6 June, 2014
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