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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 June, 2004, 21:33 GMT 22:33 UK
Advocaat defends tactics

Dutch coach Dick Advocaat
Holland coach Dick Advocaat insisted his decision to switch tactics did not lead to defeat by the Czech Republic.

The Dutch held a 2-1 lead when Advocaat substituted winger Arjen Robben for Paul Bosvelt in the second half.

"Everyone is talking about my substitution that didn't work out but no one is talking about all the chances that we missed," said Advocaat.

"The substitution is my responsibility and now we have to beat Latvia and hope the Czechs do their duty."

Robben, who will join Chelsea next season, had opened up the Czechs with his pace and power down the left.

To go down 2-0 was a cold shower for us - we knew we had to pick things up
Czech captain
Pavel Nedved
But Advocaat explained his decision to withdraw him was simply designed to push Holland's advantage further.

"I substituted Robben because I wanted more grip on the midfield," added Advocaat.

"Tomas Galasek had too much space.

"Even without Robben we created four or five good chances. At 2-1 we had lots of chances to make it three or 4-1."

Advocaat instead blamed Johnny Heitinga's red card in the 75th minute for the change in Holland's fortunes.

"It was a second yellow card and I felt undeserved," said Advocaat.

"It was very difficult after that. But we should have been well ahead by then.

Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy described himself as "sick, broken and miserable" after the defeat.

The Manchester United player suggested Robben's substitution did turn the tide in the Czechs' favour.

"The team was changed and we lost the initiative," said Van Nistelrooy.

"We should never have let the game slip out of our hands. That was totally unnecessary."



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