The Netherlands squad had some harsh words for one another after Friday’s 4-0 loss to France in its opening Euro 2024 qualifier in Paris, defender Nathan Ake said on Sunday.
The Dutch were handed a heavy defeat at the Stade de France, going three goals down inside the opening 23 minutes in the first match back as coach for Ronald Koeman.
“There were tough words right after the game, and that was also the case during the analysis the day after. But we have to be clear. I think it’s good that we tell each other the truth,” Ake told a news conference on the eve of their second Group B match, which is against Gibraltar in Rotterdam on Monday.
“We discussed what we should do better for the next match and the future,” he added but said that was now a closed subject.
“It’s done. We must learn from this as a team, but also individually. The most important thing is how you come back from this.”
The Dutch now also have Cody Gakpo back after a bout of flu that saw him miss the trip to France, but Koeman said he would only decide whether to field the Liverpool striker against Gibraltar on Monday.
“Whether the team has processed the blow, I don’t know,” Koeman told the same Sunday news conference.
“The boys are self-critical. Much was said in the debriefing, about our build-up and intensity of play.
“Gibraltar will be a completely different team, but what I saw against France was disappointing. And I didn’t expect it either. We have to beat Gibraltar now. Win first and then score a lot of goals,” the coach added.