Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal has admitted that the 2010 World Cup runner-up will face a tough task to survive the group stages at next year's tournament in Brazil.
The Oranje were paired with reigning champion Spain, South American 'dark horse' Chile and Australia, and Van Gaal openly confessed after Friday's draw in Costa do Sauipe that he would have preferred an easier pool.
"You can’t really do anything about it, but it's fair to say that it's not a good draw for us," Van Gaal told NOS. "We will play the reigning world champions, Australia, whom we have never beaten, and Chile. I saw them play against Colombia when they went 3-0 up and showed that they are a good team.
"If we look at our opponents, it sure is a difficult draw."
Van Gaal then looked ahead to a potential round of 16 tie against either the winner or the runner-up from Group A and stressed that things will not be easy for Oranje.
"You obviously expect to progress and we will then meet a team from Brazil’s group [Mexico, Croatia and Cameroon]. We might meet Brazil in the next round, so it's not the best of draws from a Dutch perspective.
"I would have preferred Group H [Belgium, Algeria, Russia and South Korea]. We do not have a lot of time to prepare either after arriving in Brazil, so it's a bad draw in that respect."
Netherlands takes on Spain in their Group B opener on June 13.
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