Dutch impress Brown

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The Independent Online
Scotland's manager, Craig Brown, returned from Rotterdam yesterday impressed by what he saw of the Netherlands in Tuesday's 3-1 win over the Republic of Ireland, their final warm-up before meeting the Scots next Monday.

Brown's Dutch counterpart, Guus Hiddink, has Danny Blind suspended for that match and has lost Frank de Boer to injury, while the fitness of striker Patrick Kluivert is a concern.

"I think they are going to string us along with Kluivert," Brown said. "He didn't play at all last night but that doesn't mean he won't face us. I think they will kid us on, Hiddink is a shrewd manager. They looked good and they played well within themselves.

"Ireland made chances," Brown added, "which is an encouragement to us, but at no time were the Dutch out of first gear." Jaap Stam, a 23-year- old PSV Eindhoven defender with one cap, will replace De Boer.

France, the last country to complete their programme of warm-up international friendlies, beat Armenia 2-0 last night in Villeneuve d'Ascq. Their unbeaten run now stands at 23 matches.

Jocelyn Angloma put France ahead in the 16th minute, converting a back- heeled pass from Youri Djorkaeff. The crowd of about 20,000 had to wait until the 72nd minute for the second goal, which was scored with his head by the tall Monaco forward, Michael Madar.