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Wednesday, 21 June, 2000, 07:57 GMT 08:57 UK
Belgium blow it
Belgium coach Robert Waseige knows he has a big job on his hands after the co-hosts were knocked out of Euro 2000 at the hands of Turkey.
Football fever in Brussels had been given a massive lift on the opening evening of the tournament as Waseige's side recorded an impressive 2-1 victory over Sweden.
Goals from Bart Goor and Emile Mpenza fortunately overshadowed a terrible mistake from goalkeeper Filip De Wilde, but it was to prove a false dawn for the Belgians and matters didn't improve for De Wilde.
Consecutive two goal defeats by Italy and Turkey brought the nation down to earth with a bump with De Wilde sent off in the closing stages of the final match.
Waseige was fully aware of the blow to national pride that his sides swift exit had brought about.
"I am naturally disappointed for everyone but of course we didn't do it on purpose," Waseige said after the Turkish defeat.
The Belgium coach has also vowed to continue to play the attacking football which had served them so well in the opener against Sweden, but knows where the deficiencies of his side lie.
"We have to improve in two key areas - defence and attack. That's no small thing but it has to be done. I don't want us to become a naive team or a soft touch but I hope we don't have to sacrifice an attacking element for a better defensive pawn.
"Results are important but fans want a spectacle and rightly so. They would never get excited by a team like Turkey."
But the immediate problem that now faces Waseige is finding some young talent to blood into an ageing squad.
Emile Mpenza may have caught the eye during the tournament but the problems at the other end of the pitch won't be helped by the retirement of Lorenzo Staelens
"Other older players are perhaps thinking of jumping ship but I hope they will tell me. I am here to help them make the right decision," said Waseige.
"There will be few changes in the immediate future - most of them have still got a lot to offer the squad."
Unfortunately for both Waseige and the people of Belgium that squad has nothing left to offer Euro 2000.
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