Out-of-form Depay gets vote of confidence from coach ahead of Austria clash

Depay claps to the Dutch fans after the game
Depay claps to the Dutch fans after the gameReuters
Netherlands’ top scorer Memphis Depay will play against Austria in their last European Championship group game on Tuesday after a vote of confidence from coach Ronald Koeman despite his poor form at the tournament in Germany.

Depay has been criticised for his performances in their first two Group D games even if the Dutch have taken four of a possible six points and all but assured themselves of a berth in the last 16.

But the striker, with 45 goals in 94 appearances for his country, will lead the attack as Koeman said he was seeking to beat Austria in Berlin and finish top of the table.

“For me it is not up for discussion, he will play. It is not without reason that he is the top scorer for the Netherlands,” Koeman said of Depay at a press conference on Monday.

He said that Depay was also not satisfied with his own performance and that the player believes things can and should be improved.

“He does have a history of injuries, of course, so I didn't expect him to be in top form for the tournament. But it is clear that things have to improve.”

“I think that as a coach you always try to help players to improve, to put them in situations where they grow and gain confidence.”

But Koeman said he did not think Depay was struggling with confidence.

“He is convinced of himself, and I’ve told him too he has a very important role because he’s a player who normally adds value. The team needs him.”

The Dutch have four points alongside France, who will be taking on Poland in Dortmund at the same time.

"We know it will be a tough match because Austria are certainly not to be underestimated, especially because of the way they play and how they try to put pressure on an opponent. We will have to be very sharp in our possession and make the right choices,” predicted the Dutch coach.

Austria’s attacking approach made them one of the teams that Koeman said he had enjoyed watching since the tournament kicked off.

“I was also impressed by Switzerland again, especially last night against Germany. Spain is of course a country that plays great and beautiful football. There hasn’t been a match that I haven't enjoyed. There are so many good, strong countries and we are one of them,” he said.


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