Kharkiv: Bert van Marwijk has blamed the Netherlands' 2-1 loss to Germany on a lack of defensive cohesion between the back four and midfield.
A first-half Mario Gomez double left the Dutch reeling, with Robin van Persie’s strike 17 minutes from time in vain as die Mannschaft held firm to leave them requiring just a point against Denmark on Sunday to win Group B.
And Van Marwijk was blunt with his assessment of the game, telling NOS: "We simply defended very poorly. And the cooperation between the defence and the two holding midfielders was disappointing. We put in a good performance in the opening 20 minutes and got some decent chances. But you have to be at your very best if you want to beat Germany. Some of the players are struggling with their form.
"The German goal came out of nothing, [it] was a fault from us; we were too open in the centre. We gave them too much space."
The former Feyenoord manager attempted to right the wrongs of the first half with the introduction of both Rafael van der Vaart and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar at the break.
Van Marwijk believes the move gave the Netherlands more impetus and that "with a bit more luck" they could have found an equaliser after putting Germany on the back foot. "In the second half we wanted to correct this [the first-half mistakes] and brought on Van der Vaart and Huntelaar. We played all or nothing in the end and made it very difficult for Germany," he continued.
"We tried to force something in the closing stages of the game, and we could even have scored a second goal with a bit more luck."
The second consecutive loss leaves the Dutch relying on results going their way to have any hope of advancing to the quarter-finals, with goal difference the likely decider for second place in Group B.
"No, our tournament isn't over just yet," Van Marwijk insisted. I don't think that Germany will throw the game against Denmark. That doesn't happen at this level. We have to come up with something to beat Portugal 2-0."