Georginio Wijnaldum insists Holland can still qualify for Euro 16 – despite admitting their latest defeat was a ‘huge blow’.
The Netherlands slumped to a shock 1-0 defeat at home to Iceland on Thursday night to leave their hopes of progressing to next summer’s tournament hanging in the balance.
I know how it is to play a final tournament and I don’t want to miss next year.Georginio Wijnaldum
Holland sit third in Group A, and with the top two qualifying they may need to rely on a play-off to book their passage to France.
The Dutch have won three and lost three of their opening seven games and sit six points behind second-placed Czech Republic, with leaders Iceland a further two points ahead.
With three games remaining – starting with a trip to Turkey tomorrow – Wijnaldum admits there is no more margin for error for his side.
“We now have to win three times, and I believe that we can,” said the 24-year-old Newcastle United midfielder, who played 80 minutes against Iceland.
“It’s a huge blow. But we are all professionals and the bonus is that it is only a few days until the match against Turkey. We must be positive, we can still go to the European Championships.”
A further blow for Holland was the news that skipper Arjen Robben will miss tomorrow’s clash through injury, with Sunderland’s winger Jeremain Lens called up to replace him.
“That’s very annoying, Robben is an absolute top player,” added Wijnaldum.
But this group still has enough quality to win in Turkey.
“Many players have already experienced a European Championship or World Cup. I know how it is to play a final tournament and I don’t want to miss next year.”
Turkey sit a point behind Holland, and defeat for the Dutch would harm their chances of even making a play-off.
However Wijnaldum says they can’t go into the game just looking not to get beat.
“We should not go there with the idea to grab a point,” he said. “The Netherlands should always want to win.”
As well as Wijnaldum, Newcastle have Tim Krul, and Vurnon Anita in the Dutch squad.