Dutch defender Nathan Ake revealed on Sunday that his country’s players had directed some harsh words to each other after losing 4-0 to France in Paris last Friday in their opening match in the 2024 European Football Championship qualifiers.
The Netherlands suffered a heavy defeat at the Stade de France, where they fell behind by three goals in the first 23 minutes in coach Ronald Koeman’s first match in his second term.
Ake told a press conference on the eve of the Netherlands’ second Group B match against Gibraltar in Rotterdam on Monday: There were some difficult words after the match, and it was the same situation during the match analysis the next day. But we must be clear. I think it’s good to tell each other the truth.
But he said that this topic was now completely closed, and added, “We discussed what we should do better in the next match and the future.”
“It’s over. We have to learn from this as a team, but also individually. The most important thing is how to come back in the next game”.
The Netherlands has now also recovered Cody Gakbo after he contracted the flu that forced him to miss the trip to France, but Koeman said he would make a decision on whether the Liverpool striker would play against Gibraltar on Monday.
Koeman said in the same press conference on Sunday: Whether the team has overcome the shock of defeat from France or not, I do not know. Players criticize themselves. Much has been said in the debriefing, about our build and strength of play.
The Dutch coach added: Gibraltar will be a completely different team, but what I saw against France was disappointing. And I didn’t expect that. We have to beat Gibraltar now. Win first and then score a lot of goals.