National coach Frank de Boer thinks that the Dutch national team has a mental advantage for Sunday’s Nations League game on a visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Bosniaks missed qualifying for the European Championship on Thursday.
Bosnia and Herzegovina lost in the play-offs on penalties from Northern Ireland. The players were deeply disappointed afterwards, but soon had to focus on the encounter with the Orange again.
“The European Championship was the highest possible for them, they fought for it for a year. I can imagine that they are mentally through it and are not waiting for this match,” De Boer said at a press conference on Saturday.
“On the other hand, they also know the advantages of the Nations League with possible placement for the World Cup. And they will want to show something against a renowned country like the Netherlands.”
‘Confidence that things will go a lot better’
The Netherlands itself did not have a very good start to the week. The Orange lost the exhibition game against Mexico (0-1) in Amsterdam when De Boer made his debut as choice and made a very poor impression.
“I am confident that things will go a lot better against Bosnia. We will play more in a regular formation tomorrow. The guys who played against Mexico had played very little with each other. That just takes some time”, said De Boer.
“In the run-up to the meeting with Mexico, we were only able to train a little tactically for thirty minutes. I don’t think you should attach much value to the result. But it did make me wiser. We learned from it anyway. “
The Netherlands has to do against Bosnia without the suspended Memphis Depay. De Boer did not want to reveal whether Luuk de Jong will replace him in the striker position, but did call him an “important candidate”.
Bosnia and Herzegovina-Netherlands starts on Sunday at 6 p.m. in the Bilino Polje stadium in Zenica, probably filled with two thousand spectators, and is led by Romanian referee Istvan Kovacs.