The official website for European football

Olsen praises Denmark's Dutch courage

Published: Saturday 9 June 2012, 21.45CET
Morten Olsen praised his victorious Denmark players for "daring to play football against this Dutch team", while Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk was left frustrated.
by Tom Kell
from Metalist Stadium

This content is streamed in such a way that it is protected and available only in a Flash format. Your device seems not to be compatible with our Flash video player.

Published: Saturday 9 June 2012, 21.45CET

Olsen praises Denmark's Dutch courage

Morten Olsen praised his victorious Denmark players for "daring to play football against this Dutch team", while Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk was left frustrated.

Morten Olsen admitted Denmark had ridden their luck in order to shock the Netherlands, but praised his players for being brave enough to play their natural game in the 1-0 Group B victory against the Dutch. Bert van Marwijk, meanwhile, rued his side's failure to convert even one of a host of chances and now has his sights set on Germany.

I'm happy and proud. I think it was a fantastic performance; we dared to play football against this Dutch team
Morten Olsen
The players really wanted to do something with all the chances but the ball didn't want to go in
Bert van Marwijk

Morten Olsen, Denmark coach
I'm happy and proud. I think it was a fantastic performance; we dared to play football against this Dutch team, who of course had chances. But we also had chances and without being biased, I think the victory was more than deserved.

We're talking about belief and confidence here – we help each other. We also must have the courage to play football, despite the fact that we were under a lot of pressure, which was the case against Holland. We know Holland very well – they are very dominant and when they see that the opponent is afraid of them they begin to play very well. But I don't think we allowed them to do so.

We said it before the game – if we have to beat one of these teams we have to reach a high level; good individual team performances and a strong team display. Most importantly we trusted our own way of playing football. This is very important, especially against a team like the Dutch who like to be dominant. To show how and why we qualified for this tournament was also important. Most of the players reached a very, very high level to beat a good Dutch team.

If you have to beat a team like that – and the teams we still have to play – you have to play well but also have to be lucky. We had other chances and the combination play was how we like to play and sometimes we found room. We could have played better, though, and we lost the ball sometimes in midfield – sometimes we played the final pass too quickly. They are things we have to do better against Portugal.

Bert van Marwijk, Netherlands coach
If you feel you are so much better in such a match, you have to take a step back at the end. But it is hard to tell a team that is losing, who feel they are the better team, that they should go back instead of forward. I think it has all played a role in the end, also the humid weather, but I am not looking for excuses. I can hardly criticise players like Wesley Sneijder who worked so incredibly hard and was the best on the pitch. He tried everything. How many times did he put people through in front of the goalkeeper into positions where they should have scored? I can hardly tell him that you have to go 20 metres deeper.

We played to our strengths. The players really wanted to do something with all the chances but the ball didn't want to go in. We put substitutes on and were even more attacking and had even more chances after that. But this is the game. I don't know [what happened] but it was't only [Robin] van Persie – there were maybe four, five or six players who had a lot of chances.

We were really determined and better than our opponents but of course you have to score that goal – that's part of the game. We can still do a lot and we just have to beat Germany. That's not going to be easy but that's the goal now and everyone knows that.

Last updated: 26/10/12 14.14CET

Related information

Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/news/newsid=1730474.html#olsen+praises+denmarks+dutch+courage

UEFA.com features

Road to the semi-finals
  • Road to the semi-finals
  • Bayern and Madrid's classic 2012 semi-final
  • Banga making a noise in Lithuania
  • Gustavsson: Tyresö still chasing their dream
  • Kellermann explains Wolfsburg rise
  • Madrid and Barcelona spurred on by Copa history
  • Unbeaten Sparta aim to go all the way
  • Steaua have to start again
  • Omens against holders in German derby
  • Carney and Potter on Birmingham rise
1 of 10
  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.