Soccer-Koeman shrugs off Dutch travel disruption and ready for semi-final

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Euro 2024 - Group D - Netherlands v Austria - Berlin Olympiastadion, Berlin, Germany - June 25, 2024 Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman reacts REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

DORTMUND, Germany (Reuters) - Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman shrugged off the travel disruption faced by his squad on Tuesday and said the team were well rested ahead of Wednesday’s European Championship semi-final against England.

The Dutch were forced to abandon their plans to travel to Dortmund by train from their base at Wolfsburg, after the service was cancelled due to a blockage on the route, the Dutch Football Association said.

Instead, they flew to Dortmund, arriving at their hotel some four hours later than planned.

"It was not a problem, we had a good rest this afternoon, we were on the plane for just 30 minutes, arrived at our hotel and we can have a good rest tonight,” Koeman said in an interview with UEFA after his scheduled pre-match press conference had to be cancelled because of the travel delay.

As for the clash against England, Koeman sounded a confident note.

“We know that there is really not much difference between the two teams, it’s really 50-50 in my opinion,” he said of the clash at the BVB Stadium. “But we will need the perfect game to win.

“We know they have a lot of individual qualities but both teams are really strong and it will be a good fight,” he predicted.

He reported that the squad had no injury concerns and were “physically strong” despite a swift turnaround from Saturday’s quarter-final win over Turkey in Berlin.

“England had to play extra time in their last game (against Switzerland) so maybe that could be a difference in the latter stages of the match. We are sharp, we are focused and we are looking forward to playing a good match against them."

Koeman said fan support would help their cause with reports of some 80,000 Dutch fans expected in Dortmund to watch at the stadium, or the nearby fan parks.

“Our country is close by. Let’s hope we can make them really happy by winning and going to the final on Sunday,” he said.

(Editing by Toby Davis)

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