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 By Kevin Palmer

Netherlands benefit from family values

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal has said he encouraged the partners and families of his players to visit the team hotel in the days before their stunning 5-1 win against Spain on Friday.

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Many World Cup coaches are keen to ensure their players are not affected by any outside distractions when preparing for big games -- but Van Gaal, who takes over at Manchester United after the tournament -- said he took an alternative view.

"My principle is the overall picture, the total person, the player," the Daily Mirror reported him as saying. "His brain and his psyche plays a part, and the psyche is influenced by his environment.

"So on Thursday and Friday I gave permission for the wives to visit the hotel so the players could be happy -- but that doesn't mean this is the reason for our victory.

"I told the players I would make sure there would be points in time where the wives and families would visit them."

Van Gaal has urged his players to keep their emotions in check after their stunning win against the defending champions, but said they were capable of even more.

"Yes, we can get better, without a shadow of a doubt," he added. "You could see this in the last 20 minutes when we started to play the ball around with confidence.

"Then you could see how good these players can be. This result gives them confidence, and I expect them to get better."


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