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Thursday, 15 June, 2000, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
Rijkaard blasts players
Dutch celebrating
Celebration against the Czechs but Rijkaard is unhappy
Dutch manager Frank Rijkaard has made an astonishing attack on his side's lack of enthusiasm ahead of their clash with Denmark.

Holland were disappointing in Sunday's opening match when they narrowly edged out the Czech Republic 1-0 thanks to a last minute penalty from Frank de Boer.

Rijkaard said: "I have been disappointed with the attitude, the approach and the enthusiasm of some of my players.

My players prefer to play cards and have been taking little interest in what is happening elsewhere

Frank Rijkaard

"I've watched all the games in the championships and I have been amazed by the determination of all the teams - even the ones who lost their first matches like Spain and England."

Rijkaard also gave his players a sharp reminder about how they should be conducting themselves.

"But my players prefer to play cards and have been taking little interest in what is happening elsewhere and that has disappointed me.

"We will have to work very hard on that and build a better team spirit."

The Dutch coach made no excuses for Sunday's poor performance, and strongly dismissed suggestions that tiredness may have been the reason behind it.

"The players should be able to lift themselves for a big tournament such as this one," he replied.
Luis Figo celebrates
Figo: Role model for the Dutch

"If my team are looking for a role model they should look at Portugal's Luis Figo.

"He has had a very difficult season at Barcelona in Spain but he was tremendous against England the other night.

"He may be physically tired because he has played so many games this season but he showed a tremendous will to win and that has been missing from my players."

Holland's Group D clash with Denmark is on Friday in Rotterdam's De Kuip Stadium.

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See also:

11 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Fortune favours Frank
11 Jun 00 | Holland
Holland escape with lucky win
09 Jun 00 | Holland
No more rows, insists Rijkaard
14 Jun 00 | Holland
Stam KO rocks Holland
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