Dwight Lodeweges says Ronald Koeman messaged him to praise the Netherlands’ second-half display in their 1-0 Nations League win over Poland on Friday.
Lodeweges was installed as the Oranje’s interim head coach following Koeman’s decision to take over as Barcelona boss last month.
He started his potentially short reign with a slender 1-0 win over Poland in their Nations League Group A1 clash – Steven Bergwijn securing the three points with his first international goal shortly after the hour mark.
“Ronald sent a message immediately after the game, saying congratulations and how it was a very good second half,” he told NOS. “I agree with him on that.
“The first half did not go well. There was not enough depth and movement in our game. Then it is very difficult to separate a team that plays 4-5-1. We didn’t get between the lines. That went a lot better in the second half.
“Of course, I had hoped that we would win 3-0 or 4-0 tonight, but then you have to score quickly. I think we can also be satisfied with a 1-0, after being apart for nine months.”
— OnsOranje (@OnsOranje) September 4, 2020
Virgil van Dijk, who was typically imperious at the back, would not be drawn on Lodeweges’ long-term future but did say he commands the respect of the squad.
“Dwight is now the boss, he already has that respect from everyone”, the Liverpool defender said. “He is doing great and continues to do what he has always done. It is nice working with Dwight, everyone knows that.”
In an empty Johan Cruijff ArenA, Van Dijk’s voice could be heard throughout the game as he marshalled the defence.
“That’s always the way, it’s in my character,” he added. “In my position I have an overview to reach everyone and to keep them sharp. You have to be able to do that and I am glad I can. I notice that it is important for the team.”
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