Netherlands captain Robin van Persie is refusing to underestimate Euro 2016 qualifying opponents Latvia ahead of their match on Sunday.

  • By Michael Bell
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van p hnorAfter two defeats in the opening three qualifying matches, and the 3-2 defeat to Mexico on Wednesday, the pressure is firmly on Netherlands to beat minnows Latvia on Sunday. Coach Guus Hiddink has even stated he will step down from his role if his Dutch side fail to beat the team ranked 99th in the world.

Van Persie missed the match against Mexico but will return to lead the line against Latvia on Sunday and he is taking nothing for granted.

The Manchester United striker told NOS, “A walk in the park , as they say in England, no. There is no easy opponents anymore. The lesser teams on paper are now at a good tactical level.”

“Ten years ago, you knew you were going to beat seventy percent of the opponents. Now that’s different. Moreover, these countries have become much fitter.”

On Sunday Van Persie will start up front with Klaas Jan Huntelaar for the first time since Euro 2012, “I look forward to it.”

“Van Marwijk and Van Gaal initially opted for a system where there was no place for Klaas and me. And at the World Cup Van Gaal chose me and Robben. But against Latvia it sounds like a good plan. We have to win that game.”

“We owe it to Hiddink.”

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