Football: Stam's Dutch warning

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The Independent Online
THE NEW Manchester United defender Jaap Stam has warned his Dutch team-mates against complacency for their Group E decider against Mexico today.

The Dutch were prolific against South Korea in their last match, winning 5-0, and they defeated Mexico in a recent friendly in Miami 3-2. But United's pounds 10.75m summer signing from PSV Eindhoven was cautious about the Netherlands' chances against the Mexicans after they hit back to draw 2-2 against Belgium.

"I watched a few minutes of that match and the Mexicans equalised after being 2-0 down, so we shouldn't underestimate them," Stam said .

The Dutch coach, Guus Hiddink, is also expecting a tougher match, with Mexico being much more worldly-wise than the Koreans and the game being played in the heat of the afternoon in St Etienne. "It will be harder as well because I consider Mexico a very experienced team," he said. "They also have a number of very skilful players, so we must be on our toes."

In the group's other final match, Belgium take on South Korea in Paris. George Leekens, the Belgian coach, is expected to keep faith with his two strikers, Luc Nilis and Luis Oliveira, despite media criticism of the pair.

"I have to go for experience and their commitment will be total," Leekens said. "There has been criticism, but you must respect them."