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Van Basten expectant over Dutch team's future

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, Nov 18 (Reuters) Netherlands coach Marco van Basten believes his squad are capable of winning a major championship in the future after they qualified for the Euro 2008 finals with a game to spare.

Striker Danny Koevermans registered his first goal for the Dutch two minutes before the break to seal a 1-0 victory over Luxembourg in Group G yesterday.

''We have a lot of players with good offensive qualities and that is a luxury but most of them are young guys who need to mature'' Van Basten told reporters.

''With some more experience you will have a chance to clinch a major title.'' Unusually the Netherlands started with a 4-4-2 line up with Clarence Seedorf, Rafael van der Vaart and Wesley Sneijder as offensive midfielders in a free role behind the two strikers.

Van Basten was forced to chance his tactical plan through the absence of injured wingers like Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben but it was also down to the lack of goals this qualification campaign.

In 11 matches the Dutch have scored 14 goals, the fewest of the countries that have so far qualified for next year's finals.

''Several of my players preferred to start like this and it worked out if you see the number of chances we created,'' added Van Basten.

''Van der Vaart, Sneijder and Seedorf need freedom and with their skills they can fill it in and so we created the chances.

''Through our qualification campaign we created enough but did not score enough and that is essential in football.'' The Dutch are level on 26 points with fellow qualifiers Romania at the top of the group. They travel to Belarus for their final match on Wednesday.


Story first published: Sunday, November 18, 2007, 20:35 [IST]
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