Van Ginkel urges Dutch caution

First-leg decider Marco van Ginkel warned the Netherlands not to "underestimate the situation" as they take a 2-0 lead into the home leg of their play-off against Slovakia.

Marco van Ginkel has put the Netherlands in a strong position to qualify
Marco van Ginkel has put the Netherlands in a strong position to qualify ©Getty Images

The Netherlands seem to be in a comfortable position after a 2-0 win in their UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-off opener in Slovakia, but coach Cor Pot is not exuding an air of satisfaction.

"In the first half we gave them too many chances," he said. "We lost the ball far too easily and often in places where it immediately got us into trouble. I have been underlining these things for some time, but still they were not sharp enough. I lost my temper on the sidelines.

"We really have to give everything for the full 90 minutes again," he said of Monday's return fixture in Rotterdam. "We cannot give anything away. I have already heard the boys talking about having a day off, but that is out of the question. We will keep working at 100% intensity and I hope to see a good display at home on Monday."

The Jong Oranje owed their success in Senec on Thursday to two goals from Marco van Ginkel, whose breakthrough strike after 55 minutes seemed to unshackle his side. "That goal was a liberation," said the Vitesse midfielder. "We got more space after that first goal which allowed us to score the second."

Van Ginkel's second in the 82nd minute entailed giving a final touch to Luuk de Jong's goal-bound header, yet there were no cross words at full time. "I gave the ball the final push – better to be safe than sorry, I thought," the 19-year-old explained. "Luuk did not mind at all. He also told me the defender was close behind me."

Van Ginkel now has three goals from ten U21 qualifiers, and added: "It is good that I am scoring these goals, but in the end it is the result that counts." And with the tie not over, he refuses to rest on his laurels. "It is too soon for that. We cannot underestimate the situation. Besides, we want to have a good finish for our fans. Once we have done that, there will be time to celebrate."