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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 June, 2004, 21:40 GMT 22:40 UK
Advocaat expresses relief

Holland coach Dick Advocaat
Dutch coach Dick Advocaat said he was glad to have hit back at critics and steered his side into the last eight.

He said: "After the Czech match we suffered a lot of criticism which was focused on me so I'm relieved to be in the quarter-finals.

"If you give Latvia space they can come out and be dangerous. We were very disciplined in the first half.

"Now we play Sweden. They are a team we know everything about and normally we should be able to beat them."

Advocaat revealed the vitriolic reaction to Holland's 3-2 defeat by the Czechs last Saturday had affected him personally.

"It all went much too far," he said. "People talked about the individual too much.

"When people talk about stoning and hanging you, I don't find that normal any more. In such an atmosphere you can hardly work any more,"

The Dutch needed to beat Latvia and for Germany to fail to beat the Czech Republic if they were to go through.

Advocaat admitted it made for a nervous night, with one eye on both matches.

There is no B team, they are all members of the Czech national squad,
Czech Republic coach Karel Bruckner
He admitted: "It was very difficult to focus on the match all the time because you knew from the reaction of the crowd what was going on in Lisbon."

Striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, who scored twice against Latvia, said attention was already shifting to the Sweden game.

"It's just a great feeling we've done it," said the Manchester United striker, who is now joint top scorer in the tournament with Wayne Rooney, with four goals.

"We just want to focus on Sweden. It will be a very tough game. It's the quarters now and anything can happen."

Midfielder Philip Cocu praised the Czechs who beat the Germans despite fielding a weakened team.

"We have to thank the Czechs for beating the Germans," Cocu said.

"We heard from the crowd reaction in the second half that there had been another (Czech) goal and that of course gives you an extra push to keep going."

Links to more Holland stories



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