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Van Gaal feels the heat

Fortaleza: Hot and humid weather in Brazil’s northeast is a concern for the Netherlands with players working hard to get used to the tough conditions for their clash against Mexico, in the 2014 World Cup round of 16 match, coach Louis van Gaal said on Saturday.

“I was here a year ago and it was hotter then. Even so, the humidity is so high, it will affect the match and that is the reason we tried to get the players to be as fit as possible,” Van Gaal said at a news conference, at the Castelao arena, ahead of the match on Sunday.

“I’m quite conscious that it will also affect the Mexican team and I know they’re much more used to it than we are.”

Temperatures in Fortaleza have been hovering between 25-30 degrees Celsius in the past several weeks, compared to lower temperatures in Rio de Janeiro, where the Dutch team has been practising, and Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre, where they have played their two most recent matches.

“Of course it’s hot, it’s very hot,” midfielder Leroy Fer said at the media conference. “But the other teams are also affected. We feel we are well prepared.”

Fer will sit out the match against Mexico, Van Gaal added, while Bruno Martins Indi is still recovering and will stay on the bench as a potential substitute.

“You don’t really know when an injury is done and over with. He trained on Friday, 11 against 11, but that doesn’t really mean he can play in these extreme conditions,” Van Gaal said. “But he can be a substitute. ” (Reuters)