Heitinga - Unity is key
Holland defender John Heitinga has warned England that to be successful at a major tournament they must be united as a squad.
Last Updated: 28/02/12 8:19am
Holland and Everton defender John Heitinga has warned England that to be successful at a major tournament they must be united as a squad.
Off-field rifts have plagued the England set-up in recent years, with John Terry's racial abuse case hanging over the side ahead of Euro 2012.
Heitinga, capped 72 times for the Netherlands, knows how destructive such rows can be, with his country having thrown away chances in the past due to bust-ups within the camp.
But the Toffees stopper helped Holland to the final of the 2010 World Cup and claims their success in that tournament was down to their togetherness behind the scenes.
"Before the tournament (coach) Bert van Marwijk said to us 'it doesn't matter if you don't like this or that person, you have to accept his quality and work for each other'," said Heitinga, who is expected to go up against England in Wednesday's international friendly with Holland at Wembley.
"He told us what would happen on the pitch is that we would help each other.
"After the game, if you don't like each other, then you don't have talk to each other. But on the pitch it's different. There is only one goal and you need all the players working for together to win a trophy.
"That is always your best chance. The main thing for us in South Africa was that we were a team. Everyone was fighting for each other.
"We knew who the stars were but you need everyone working together if you're going to reach your goal.
"The England squad is full of quality. Hopefully they will not be at their best against us tomorrow."
Some have argued England should be concentrating on youth to ensure future success.
But Heitinga feels it would be risky to make too many changes ahead of this summer's Euros in Poland and Ukraine.
"If you are going to start (this kind of approach) now, it is going to be hard to get results at Euro 2012," he said.
"You need to start, yes. But I don't know whether now is a good time or not, maybe wait until after the Euros."