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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.

Olsen praises Denmark's Dutch courage
Olsen praises Denmark's Dutch courage ©UEFA.com

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.

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.

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