Louis van Gaal says the Netherlands have to believe they can win the World Cup and not just target reaching the knockout stages of the tournament.
They need just a point against Qatar on Tuesday to qualify for the last 16.
"I think you always have to identify the goal, the purpose for which you are here," said the Dutch manager.
"Then you can work your way towards that purpose. If you don't identify that purpose and say 'the last 16 or the quarter-finals is enough', that isn't the right way to do things."
The Netherlands are level on four points with Ecuador in Group A and both teams have the same goal difference. They will still qualify if they lose to Qatar, provided the South American side beat Senegal.
Van Gaal, who is in his third spell as the national side's coach and oversaw a third-placed finish at the World Cup in 2014, said his squad share his vision on how far they can go.
He added: "I never said we're going to become world champion, I said we can become it, that we have a chance, and the players have also become convinced of that."
"I don't feel disappointed or embarrassed," said Qatar manager Felix Sanchez.
"I think these players have shown they can compete in many competitions. A World Cup is the most demanding competition."
The Netherlands forward Memphis Depay will not be rushed back into the starting XI after suffering a hamstring injury two months before the start of the World Cup.
Centre-back Matthijs de Ligt is one yellow card away from a suspension, so Jurrien Timber could keep his place in Van Gaal's defence.
Qatar are likely to remain unchanged as they try to avoid becoming the first host nation to exit without winning at least a point.