Mark Parsons backs the Netherlands to beat France

Holland boss Mark Parsons believes his team’s fighting spirit will help them beat France in their Euro 2022 quarter-final after losing captain Sari van Veenendaal and defender Aniek Nouwen

  • Netherlands boss Mark Parsons says his team’s fighting spirit will benefit them 
  • They are set to take on France in their quarter-final of Euro 2022 this evening
  • The reigning champions have lost some key players to injuries and Covid
  • They still managed to progress as runners-up in Group C and are undefeated 

Netherlands boss Mark Parsons believes his team’s fighting spirit can carry them through when they take on France in their quarter-final of Euro 2022 this evening.

The reigning champions have lost key players to injuries and Covid but still managed to progress as runners-up in Group C and are undefeated.

They lost goalkeeper and captain Sari van Veenendaal and defender Aniek Nouwen in the first half of their opening game against Sweden. 

Netherlands boss Mark Parsons believes his team’s fighting spirit can carry them through when they take on France in their quarter-final of Euro 2022 this evening

Van Veenendaal was replaced by back-up ‘keeper Daphne van Domselaar, who is just 22 years old and had only one international cap before the start of the tournament. Despite being behind at half-time, Parsons’ side rallied to earn a 1-1 draw.

But more bad luck came their way when midfielder Jackie Groenen contracted Covid before the same fate befell star striker Vivianne Miedema. And things got worse when attacking midfielder Lieke Martens had to withdraw from the tournament with a foot injury.

France, who are ranked third in the world, will be the favourites to progress to the semi-final but English-born Parsons insisted his side are not here ‘just to sell tickets’.

The reigning champions have lost key players to injuries and Covid but still managed to progress as runners-up in Group C and are undefeated

‘The spirit has been very positive, there is a great energy,’ Parsons said of his team. ‘We have gone through adversity and you always have opportunity in adversity. This group only has one reaction to that and that’s to get stronger and to get closer.

‘I feel very, very good about the spirit of this team. But this is the history of this team, this is not something we’ve done for one month or six months. This history of this team is, when the moment matters the most, they come together and they fight like they’ve never fought before.

‘You saw that against Sweden, first half, two problems we had, we’re 1-0 down at half-time, Sweden have not lost a European Championship game when leading at half-time and we had lost the players we’d lost.

They lost goalkeeper and captain Sari van Veenendaal (above) and defender Aniek Nouwen in the first half of their opening game against Sweden 

‘There was only one probably outcome and we defied that. That shows the spirit of this team but also the experience of this team and the history of what they have done in major tournaments.’

Parsons is hopeful Miedema, who has missed the last two games, will be back tonight with the striker having completed three training sessions after recovering from Covid.

‘I’m spreading as much positive energy and optimism as possible. We’ll make the decision before our final meeting but it’s also about making sure every step is ticked.’




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