The Netherlands may have been down in the aftermath of defeat by Denmark but Dirk Kuyt says they are ready to play Germany – a match he expects to "become part of history".
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The Netherlands could have been forgiven for feeling deflated after their opening defeat by Denmark; dominant in possession, they created a hatful of chances but failed to find the net and were hit by a first-half sucker-punch. For Dirk Kuyt, though, who came on as the Dutch went for broke in the second half, there is no reason to wallow in the loss. Next up is the small matter of Germany, and Kuyt – bound for Fenerbahçe SK next season – cannot wait.
UEFA.com: Dirk, how did the team react to defeat by Denmark?
Dirk Kuyt: There was great disappointment. We all started the tournament full of energy and I think we played well, but we failed to score, which was very disappointing, but we have to move on. The great thing about this tournament is that we get to play a game every four days, and have a massive one on Wednesday, which is a unique opportunity for us and will allow us to show everybody how good we really are.
UEFA.com: What went wrong against Denmark?
Kuyt: I think we played pretty well, we made some great chances but if you don't take those chances, it is common in football for the other team then to score. Denmark made good use of their first chance. In the second half we created even more chances – in the first six minutes we could have scored a few goals, but it didn't happen however hard we tried. I think we have to improve defensively, but we have to be more creative and take our chances.
UEFA.com: The next game against Germany is an important one...
Kuyt: Yes, for us it's like a final. From now on we have to win every match, which we wanted to do from the beginning of the tournament. You have to be able to beat every opponent in a tournament like this, and this means beating Germany.
UEFA.com: Can you describe what it means for you to play against Germany?
Kuyt: I have been brought up knowing the importance of Holland against Germany. Everybody can remember the previous matches, like in 1988 and 1990. I know about these matches because they have become a part of history and I think the match this Wednesday will do too.
UEFA.com: You already said that you played attacking football against Denmark, so is it possible to try even harder against Germany?
Kuyt: I think the competitiveness between us and Denmark grew throughout the match, which meant we had to attack more and more. I think this will be the case against the Germans. We are capable of creating a solid defensive wall, and if we can create that stability next Wednesday I do not foresee us having any problems.
UEFA.com: You also have a lot of options up front. Do you think it's possible that [Robin] Van Persie and [Klaas-Jan] Huntelaar will play together?
Kuyt: Yes, but's that's a decision that [Bert] Van Marwijk should make. I agree with you, that we have a lot of options up front, but we have so many good players to fill those positions and that's a problem for the coach. We are convinced the coach will put the best team together to get the best result. We have that confidence in our trainer, and we all have to make sure that, individually, we do our best.
UEFA.com: How do you handle the stress that comes with losing the first game and then possibly having to win the next two?
Kuyt: Well, some stress is good and that's what makes playing so much fun. We had a lot of stress during the World Cup, especially against Portugal. But you have to remember that you must enjoy those matches too, and you enjoy them most if you win.
UEFA.com: Are you expecting an exciting evening?
Kuyt: It will be very exciting and that's what the European Championship is all about. Sometimes during the World Cup you have easy games to start with, but in the European Championship even the first games are very difficult. When your group consists of Denmark, Germany and Portugal , every game is like a final.