Coach says Dutch lacked 'courage'

Netherlands manager Bert van Marwijk gestures during practice at Metalist stadium in Kharkiv,...

Netherlands manager Bert van Marwijk gestures during practice at Metalist stadium in Kharkiv, Ukraine, June 8, 2012. (ALESSANDRO BIANCHI/Reuters)

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:27 PM ET

KHARKIV, UKRAINE - Is Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk questioning his team's heart?

It certainly sounded that way after Germany's 2-1 victory over staggering Netherlands Wednesday at Metalist Stadium.

Van Marwijk's controversial comments came after he was asked about how the Germans had split the seams of his defence for two goals, both scored by Mario Gomez.

"There was just too much space for them, and we trained a lot in regards to that," said van Marwijk, who led the Dutch to the World Cup final in South Africa two years ago. "Maybe there was a lack of courage."

Harsh? Perhaps.

But when your team is winless through two matches after having been appropriately labeled one of the pre-tournament favourites, its understandable that a manager would pull no punches.

"We're disappointed we lost," he said. "I think we started well in the first 20 minutes and that's how we started to play. We had a few good chances. But there were a few mistakes made, in particular in the defence and in the middle of the field as well."

Mike.zeisberger@sunmedia.ca

Twitter.com/zeisberger


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