De Jong vows to take it steady

De Jong left USA midfielder Stuart Holden with a broken leg

following a crunching challenge in Holland’s friendly victory on

Wednesday. He later insisted there was no ‘evil intent’, saying

that such offences are part of football. The 25-year-old also

acknowledged that his move from Hamburg to Manchester City in the

summer of 2009 had helped him improve the physical aspect of his

game. But De Jong has now received seven yellow cards in just 10

games for Holland since arriving at Eastlands and recognises that

he must be more controlled with his aggression when lining up for

his country. He does not want to endanger Holland’s chances of

success at the World Cup and has vowed not to get himself sent off

in South Africa. “In the Premier League the referees allow more

than in the rest of Europe,” he said in The Sun. “But now when I

play with the national team, I have to make a switch in my mind to

realise. “It is clear I bring my team into trouble with these

yellow cards. “And a red card at the World Cup can be the

difference between going on or going home.”