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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 June, 2004, 22:09 GMT 23:09 UK
Advocaat ponders future

By Phil McNulty
Our man in Portugal

PORTUGAL 2-1 HOLLAND
Holland coach Dick Advocaat looks set to step down after the Euro 2004 semi-final defeat against hosts Portugal.

Advocaat has already hinted he would quit after suffering fierce criticism of his tactics during the tournament.

He said: "There will be a press release from the Dutch football federation in the next week so everyone will know what my future is.

"There are reasons to go and there are reasons to stay, so we have to wait until next week to see what happened."

Advocaat admitted Portugal were deserved winners, saying: "The best team won. They controlled the game and it is right that they are in the final.

"We couldn't build up what we wanted to do and there is no doubt Portugal have a lot of talented players.

We have fantastic young players and we have the conditions to continue to be a great team
Portugal captain Luis Figo
"They had better quality. We didn't get the support to our strikers. In the end the whole team didn't bring the things it could to the game.

"I have to give compliments to our group because they worked very well and the spirit was good - but we also have to accept Portugal were the better side."

But Advocaat echoed criticism of Swedish referee Anders Frisk from Dutch striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy, adding: "It was very obvious that every doubt there was the ball went to Portugal."

Former Dutch great Johan Cruyff agreed that the referee's decisions had favoured Portugal.

"He kept picking up on small things that always went against the Netherlands," he stated.

"Winger Arjen Robben, for example, couldn't do anything right for him."





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