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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 June 2006, 17:29 GMT 18:29 UK
Holland may drop Van Nistelrooy
Ruud van Nistelrooy
Van Nistelrooy has scored one goal in three games
Ruud van Nistelrooy may be left out of the starting line-up for Holland's second-round World Cup match against Portugal on Sunday.

The 29-year-old started the event as the first-choice striker but has scored only one goal so far and was taken off in all three Group C matches.

"The central position up front is a point of discussion," said Holland coach Marco van Basten.

"The chance that Dirk Kuijt will start on Sunday has increased."

Starting on the bench could be a crushing blow for Van Nistelrooy, who has also been under fire at his club side Manchester United.

Ruud will understand that if you play well you will not be substituted

Holland coach Marco van Basten
United boss Alex Ferguson dropped him two months before the end of the season in favour of Frenchmen Louis Saha.

But Van Basten may simply be using motivational tactics to fire up Van Nistelrooy.

"It is not nice for him when he is replaced but we did not speak about it," added Van Basten.

"Ruud will understand that if you play well you will not be substituted.

"We might expect more from Ruud, he has to play a bigger role in our attack."

SEE ALSO
Holland 0-0 Argentina
21 Jun 06 |  World Cup 2006
Portugal 2-1 Mexico
21 Jun 06 |  World Cup 2006
Holland team guide
22 May 06 |  Holland
Pick your Holland XI
28 Apr 06 |  Squad selectors
World Cup schedule
25 May 06 |  Schedule
Have your say on the World Cup
28 Apr 06 |  Football
BBC World Cup coverage
27 Apr 06 |  BBC coverage


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