Frank de Boer admitted there is still plenty of room for improvement in his Netherlands team after they needed a late equaliser to draw 2-2 with Scotland.
Memphis Depay’s 89th-minute free-kick made sure the Netherlands avoided defeat in the friendly fixture between two nations preparing for Euro 2020.
The influential forward had also scored in the first half, his left-footed volley cancelling out Jack Hendry’s opener for a Scotland team left shorthanded following a positive coronavirus case within the squad.
Substitute Kevin Nisbet restored Scotland’s lead soon after coming on as the Dutch looked defensively shaky when lining up in a wing-back formation, though De Boer made clear the squad had little time to work on systems ahead of the match in Faro.
“Has the experiment with the 5-3-2 system failed? No, it has not,” De Boer said in his post-match interview with broadcasters NOS.
“I’m not worried at all. We only trained on it once, only three times for 10 minutes. In addition, we also played 4-3-3 at the time.
“In addition, Georginio Wijnaldum and Frenkie de Jong only joined later.
“It seems clear that things need to get better. I saw a few good moments, but there were too few.”
Both Wijnaldum – who set up Depay’s first-half goal with a header back to his compatriot – and De Jong were taken off after 30 minutes.
Virgil van Dijk watched proceedings from inside the ground, but his absence from the squad due to injury will be keenly felt unless the Netherlands tighten up at the back.
Stefan de Vrij acknowledged there is work to do both with and without the ball, though they still have one more warm-up game – against Georgia on Sunday – before Euro 2020.
“I’ve seen some really good things,” Inter centre-back De Vrij said to NOS. “But there is also a lot that can be improved. There is actually quite a lot of work to be done.
“In possession of the ball we have to move better and ensure that the right people are in position. And we conceded two goals in transition. That is of course not allowed. That was really too easy.”
Scotland boss Steve Clarke felt the Netherlands’ second equaliser came from a free-kick that should not have been given, with Depay deemed to have been fouled before curling the resulting set-piece opportunity beyond goalkeeper Craig Gordon.
“I don’t like talking too much about referees, I’ve got in trouble for that quite a lot recently, but the decision to award the free-kick at the end was embarrassing,” Clarke told Sky Sports.
“But listen, the performance is more important than the referee, and I thought the performance was good.”