Van Gaal expects better

  • Last Updated: June 5 2014, 15:08 BST

Holland boss Louis van Gaal is expecting better from his side as they head off to Brazil for the World Cup.

Louis van Gaal: Wants more from Holland
Louis van Gaal: Wants more from Holland

The Dutch played out a lacklustre 2-0 win against an under-strength Wales side in Amsterdam in their final friendly before the tournament on Wednesday.

The result rarely seemed in doubt, with goals in each half from Arjen Robben and Jeremain Lens securing the victory, but Wales had plenty of possession and frustrated their hosts for long spells.

Holland's next match will be against champions Spain in their World Cup opener in Salvador a week on Friday and Van Gaal knows improvement is necessary.

"I hoped they would play better," Van Gaal said.

"We played a lot of unnecessary balls, I believe, and there was too much possession of the opponent, Wales.

"We didn't get the pressure on the ball because they made the pitch very big and when they are in trouble, played a long ball.

"It is always very difficult to play against those teams."

Van Gaal again changed his formation for the game. The incoming Manchester United boss ditched the country's traditional 4-3-3 system for 5-3-2 for the recent friendlies against Ecuador and Ghana but played 4-4-2, incorporating a midfield diamond, against Wales.

Van Gaal believes it is necessary to try out different approaches to ensure options are available to combat the varying tactics of their Group B rivals.

Wales were chosen as opponents in the hope they could provide a test similar to the one the Dutch will face against Australia in their second group game on June 18. Holland also face Chile in the tournament.

Van Gaal said: "We scored two beautiful goals but it must be better.

"Previously I was able to play 4-3-3, and we might have played more attractive, but I wanted to see the benefits of the other system.

"Against Spain and Chile, I think I'm going to play 5-3-2. The 4-4-2 is less promising."

Holland left for Brazil with a slight fitness concern over leading striker Robin van Persie, who suffered a groin injury and was withdrawn as a precaution at half-time.

Both player and manager stressed the problem was not serious but the 30-year-old was due to be assessed by the team doctor.

Jonathan de Guzman was also due to travel with the squad despite a hamstring injury that looks likely to rule him out of the Spain game.