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Netherlands on the right track after Northern Ireland rout, says van Marwijk

Netherlands on the right track after Northern Ireland rout, says van Marwijk

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The Oranje coach believes his side are hitting form at the right time with the Euros looming, but revealed that he has not yet settled on his preferred starting XI

Bert van Marwijk has praised Netherlands for their goalscoring exploits in the 6-0 demolition of Northern Ireland on Saturday and now wants the side to build on their momentous display at Euro 2012.

Two sets of doubles from Robin van Persie and Ibrahim Afellay, along with individual strikes from Wesley Sneijder and Ron Vlaar put Oranje on the best footing possible ahead of their Group B opener against Denmark on June 9.

Speaking after the match, Van Marwijk noted that while there is no room for complacency at international level, he was encouraged by what he saw at the Amsterdam ArenA.

"We played against a moderate opponent," noted Van Marwijk after the match. "Our execution is getting better, that makes me happy.

"We were sloppy at times, but there were some very good attacks and great goals on show. We should not get ahead of ourselves because we're not there yet. But we are on the right track."

Van Marwijk entrusted Van Persie with the responsibility of leading the line against Michael O'Neill's side, but while the Arsenal forward repaid his coach's faith with a brace, the 60-year-old is still considering his options.

"I've now received confirmation on two things - we are now stronger in wide areas and also stronger than we were two years ago during the World Cup," he continued.

"However, nothing is for certain, so Rafael van der Vaart may still start the first game."

The trainer also spoke cautiously of returning duo Sneijder and Afellay, who both scored on Saturday night to boost their chances of starting next week's group opener against the Danes.

"I have left Sneijder out [up to this point of the preparations] because of his groin pain," he explained.

"I think he's not far away from playing a full game, but I must be careful. The same applies to Afellay."

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