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Van Gaal dissatisfied with Dutch performance.

Van Gaal dissatisfied with Dutch performance.

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal was not very pleased with his team’s Nations League victory over Belgium on Sunday, but he believes his team is prepared for the World Cup in November.

Van Gaal

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In order to secure first place in their group and a ticket in the finals competition in June, the Dutch defeated their neighbors 1-0 in the Amsterdam Arena. However, their immediate goal is the world championship in Qatar.

“I assume that we will do better in possession at the World Cup,” Van Gaal told a news conference. “We were not very good against Belgium although without possession I thought we did well.”

He admitted Belgium had the better of the game.

“That had to do with the form of the day and the quality of the opponent. Belgium is the number two in the world rankings for a reason. And it’s unbelievable that we have beaten them twice.”

The Netherlands also won 4-1 in Brussels in June, finishing six points clear at the top of their Nations League group.

Van Gaal is currently preparing for his second World Cup, having led the Netherlands to third place in Brazil eight years ago.

“I think we are going to be a difficult opponent to go up against. We showed that if we are out played we can still be difficult to break down by playing more compact,” he said.

“I have more quality now in defence and midfield. Only then did we have more exclusive quality in the front with Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben. But with Van Persie injured some of the time, I had a young boy fill in many times then. His name was Memphis Depay.”

Depay and his Barcelona teammate Frenkie de Jong did not play against Belgium after being hurt in the Dutch’s 2-0 win over Poland on Thursday, but Van Gaal stated he would preserve a spot for both.

“I expect my players to play at a certain level at their club,” he said, adding he had mostly made up his mind about his 26-man squad for Qatar.”

The Dutch are in Group A at the World Cup finals, starting against Senegal on Nov. 21 before playing Ecuador and Qatar.

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Daniel Mathias

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