Frank de Boer said it is vital the Netherlands “grow into” Euro 2020 after they beat Austria 2-0 to reach the round of 16 as Group C winners.
A first-half penalty from Memphis Depay and Denzel Dumfries’ second goal of the tournament were enough for the Netherlands to qualify with a game to spare at the Johan Cruijff ArenA on Thursday.
The Netherlands should have won by a more emphatic margin, with Depay wasting a glorious chance to double his tally in the first half.
De Boer’s side will face one of the third-placed finishers at the Puskas Arena in Budapest a week on Sunday for a place in the quarter-finals after taking on North Macedonia in Amsterdam on Monday.
Netherlands head coach De Boer wants to see his side continue raising their standards after they became the first Oranje team to score at least two goals in nine consecutive games since 1935.
“You have to grow into a tournament and especially the feeling you have to playing together as a team, a union but also the system you play,” De Boer said.
“The guys will have a discussion how we can improve, how you grow into a tournament. The union we have now is really important and you have to continue feeling this union during the rest of tournament.”
From non-league to Netherlands hero in 8 years…
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 17, 2021
De Boer will mull over how many changes to make against North Macedonia and whether to tinker with his system.
He said: “We need to have some words with performance coach and talk with team best thing over what is the best thing to do and prepare for North Macedonia.
“How will we play, do we maintain the pace of the last games so we can work on the system we have been playing or will give players extra time off and relax?
“These are things we have to talk about. Only after Budapest will we know if it was the right thing to do, indeed it’s a long time to go [until the round of 16 match]. But three games in a short period and it’s warm, you have to take that into account, so we will see what happens and I hope I can make the right decisions.”
Dumfries became only the second Dutchman to score in his first two European Championship appearances, with Ruud van Nistelrooy being the first.
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