Slovaks look for extra gear against Dutch

DURBAN - Slovakia will have to take their game to a higher level despite putting out the world champions if they are to progress to the World Cup quarter-finals past Netherlands, coach Vladimir Weiss said on Sunday.

The debutants take on the Dutch in Durban on Monday for a place in the quarter-finals and believe they need to repeat the lively attacking style they used to knock out Italy with a 3-2 win in their final group match.

"If we want to play well against the Netherlands I think we need to beat our performance in our match against Italy," Weiss told a news conference on Sunday.

"Miracles happen of course but we want to play a good game or at least match our opponents tomorrow and it's the round of 16 and then anything is possible.

"We want to play with a lot of emotion and put a lot of heart into the match as well. It will be the top of the careers of the players and also for me as a coach."


Having sprung a few surprises of their own last time out, Slovakia are now braced to be on the receiving end as they wait to see if Dutch winger Arjen Robben will start after only coming on as a late substitute in their last game following injury.

"That's their quality, that they always manage to surprise," said Weiss.

"They play differently with and without Robben so it will be a surprise for us whether he will play from the beginning or not because he's a world class player."

The Slovaks will be playing at sea level for the first time here after matches in Rustenburg, Bloemfontein and Johannesburg, while Netherlands have not competed at altitude since their first game in Johannesburg.

"It will be easier for the players to breathe but at higher altitude we managed to play better and better so let's see what will happen," said Weiss. "I'm liking South Africa more and more."

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