NO PLACE FOR RUUD IN DUTCH SQUAD
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Van Gaal has named a 21-man group, and he is looking for victory in both matches to put the Netherlands back on track for qualification from Group Two.
"We are facing a crucial week in which the only aim is to win," van Gaal said at a press conference.
"I've chosen players who can both play and think defensively, but also take into account the main objective of winning," the former Barcelona coach added.
Despite packing the squad with forwards, Van Gaal had no place for PSV Eindhoven hit-man van Nistelrooy, insisting that he is not ready after his long injury lay-off.
"A player who has missed a year because of injury cannot come back into the international squad," he said. "I saw him play for PSV against Utrecht, and those thoughts were confirmed."
Holland are currently second from bottom of their group, with only the minnows of Andorra below them.
Van Gaal, though, is not underestimating Andorra, saying: "Andorra is not a warm-up. They are the opposition. Andorra have never won a qualification match, and we have to make sure we are not the first."
Edwin van der Sar (Juventus), Sander Westerveld (Liverpool); Michael Reiziger, Frank de Boer, Philip Cocu (all Barcelona), Jaap Stam (Manchester United), Kevin Hofland, Wilfred Bouma (PSV Eindhoven); Paul Bosvelt, Patrick Paauwe, (both Feyenoord), Mark van Bommel (PSV Eindhoven), Edgar Davids (Juventus) Marc Overmars, Boudewijn Zenden (both Barcelona); Roy Makaay (Deportivo la Coruna), Patrick Kluivert (Barcelona), Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (Chelsea), Pierre van Hooijdonk (Benfica), Victor Sikora (Vitesse Arnhem), Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink (FC Twente), Arnold Bruggink (PSV Eindhoven)