Luirink seeks positive reaction

Netherlands defender Gijs Luirink tells that the Jongoranje cannot wait to face Denmark following an opening defeat by Ukraine.

Netherlands defender Gijs Luirink has told the Jongoranje are determined to put last night's defeat by Ukraine behind them as quickly as possible.

'Quite difficult'
"It was quite difficult for us," said Luirink of the opening Group B contest in Agueda. "We didn't play our own game. We let Ukraine play a physical game and we couldn't pass enough and play in the Dutch style." The 22-year-old coped well with the wily Ukraine forward Artem Milevskiy but still saw the FC Dynamo Kyiv walk off with a goal, an assist and a man of the match award. "He's a very good player," was Luirink's assessment of his opponent.

Club career
Luirink, who came through the famed AFC Ajax youth academy, is also a player to watch. He sealed a move from FC Groningen to AZ Alkmaar on a five-year contract last week and it is clear his new coach Louis van Gaal has identified someone who can not only defend, but also find the way to goal after his late consolation made it 2-1 to Ukraine.

'Nice feeling'
He could have had a couple, just missing with a close-range header in the 65th minute before finally converting in added time. "The first chance was difficult because the ball came at me at pace and I tried to put it in the corner. But for the goal, the corner came perfectly and I scored. It was a nice feeling, but it would have been nicer to win. You look at the two Ukraine goals - they were terrible to concede."

Danish next
Onwards and upwards, and Luirink believes his team "have to be positive against Denmark on Friday". With the likes of Daniël de Ridder, Romeo Castelen and Klaas Jan Huntelaar in attack, he knows the Netherlands will have no trouble finding the focus required to collect their first victory in Portugal. "I think Denmark play more in the Dutch style so it should be a good game."